Raphaél Fourau's film Baby Steps follows athlete Caroline Ciavaldini's personal journey, becoming a mother for the second time and at the same time not losing yourself as a climber. With her story, Caroline hopes to reach out to other parents while also inspiring moms to pursue their passions.

A person who is passionate about climbing is a climber wholeheartedly. She identifies as such. She could also see herself as a teacher or bank employee, but for most her role as a climber is in the foreground. However, when female climbers become mothers, they are often only seen in the role of mothers. They lose the climbing part of their identity. An experience that too Caroline Ciavaldini has made.

“Society tells us to forget ourselves and just be a mother. Yes, I'm a mom, but I'm also a climber. I wouldn't be Caroline without either of them." 

Caroline Ciavaldini

Video: Baby Steps - Climbing during and after pregnancy

Climber Caroline Ciavaldini wanted to find a different way to balance the new challenge of being a mother of two with her passion for climbing.  

In the film, which also features her life, upbringing and climbing partner James Pearson plays along, Caroline deliberately doesn't just want to show "Happy Every After". She wanted to make a real film that addresses all facets of this journey - from the beautiful to the most difficult moments.

"They say you should stop exercising when you're pregnant because it's not good for you. But for someone who is as athletic as I am, it's not easy and mentally it's very challenging. After all, it's part of my identity."

Caroline Ciavaldini
Caroline Ciavaldini during practice with lattice coach Maddy Cope. Image: The North Face

“We are basically the first generation of mountaineers to have children and want to keep climbing. So it is a completely new situation and task. We want to support others to find their way by showing honestly and openly what difficulties they might face. At the same time, we want to show tools and solutions that worked well for us to return to climbing step by step.»

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Credits: Cover photo The North Face