Like the eventual children women give birth to, every pregnancy is unique. At The Pilates Suite, we support, participate in and advocate a varied fitness routine. When it comes to pregnancy, we really do believe that Pilates is the very best fitness activity that all women can do from pre-conception all the way through to birth, then in the immediate post-birth period and beyond. Think of it as the best kind of insurance for your body!
It’s more effective at gradually preparing, strengthening and coping with the dramatic changes that an expectant and new mother’s body will go through, than anything else. Many women I know attend a weekly Pilates class, under appropriate supervision from their teacher and with the right adjustments to each exercise, right up until a few days before their due date. Coping with hyper-mobile joints and ligaments due to the introduction of the pregnancy hormone, Relaxin, plus aches and pains of various degrees and the changes that the bump makes to your balance can all be managed.
If you are pregnant, you can join any of our equipment studio Pilates classes, as we’ll tailor each exercise to suit your level of experience and stage of pregnancy.
For the first six weeks after birth, it’s right that most new mums take things easy*. Walking, gentle stretching and the right kind of Pilates exercises will help your body to recover from the life-changing event, ensuring you’re strong and supple. They’ll also mean that you can respond to structural changes within the body, like the ribcage moving back into a normal position, supporting the pelvic floor as the uterus contracts, knitting together any separation of the rectus abdominus and compensating for the ways you carry the new baby.
And as your child grows and becomes heavier, you’ll be amazed at how much your body has to cope with in order to carry and lift them. Whether in a sling, carrier, buggy and to and from their car seat, your core, back and neck are working much harder than ever to support your movements. It’s never too late to take up Pilates, so whether your child is minus six months old or six years old, the postural principles, benefits and exercises will ensure you are flexible, strong and able to cope better with the various impacts on your body. And this applies to Dads too!
* NOTE: As always, please seek medical advice from your doctor or midwife before re-starting any form of exercise after birth, and please discuss their advice with your Pilates teacher, so they’re fully informed.