We have been privileged to share the experience with several expectant and new mothers since we opened. Teaching pregnant clients is both a joy and something that should be done with great care, skill and empathy. It is not enough to simply know how to adapt an exercise.
A teacher should also know how to change the program according to how the pregnancy changes medically. They should understand each day is different and to listen to how an expectant or new mother is feeling. A good teacher follows the feelings of the mother on what they can and cannot do that day.
There are a limited number of spaces in some group classes for pregnant ladies and those in postpartum recovery though not all classes are appropriate. However, depending on the condition of the client and the pregnancy itself we may recommend one to one instead.
When you reach the 3rd trimester movement quickly becomes limited. At this stage we may offer videos for those good at self managing or recommend you stop until after the pregnancy.
Is this appropriate for me?
For existing clients and those who have been practicing Pilates for at least the 6 months prior to pregnancy you can continue with Pilates throughout the pregnancy.
For those that would like to start Pilates after discovering they are pregnant, while there is no risk from exercise, we can only teach you after 16 weeks once the pregnancy is established.
Pilates is a low impact, functional form of exercise that is easily adapted to expectant and new mothers. In addition to some of the standard mobility work, we have several breathing and pelvic floor release exercises that can improve your experience. Research shows exercise during pregnancy is recommended for expectant and new mothers in managing the physical changes during pregnancy and recovering form and function after birth.
Many doctors recommend exercise during pregnancy however it is not recommended you start anything new until the first 16 week period.
There are also some conditions a mother may have that contraindicate exercise. It is important that you have been medically signed off before you do any type of exercise. This should be repeated each time you visit the midwife or doctor as the pregnancy develops.
During pregnancy the exercise programs alter as you alter physically and the baby grows. We will specifically adapt exercises for you during class. It is important to adapt and not follow what others are doing.
Depending on the type and ease of the birth it could be between 6 and 12 weeks before you can exercise again. Again this should be on the advice of your medical team. For uncomplicated births this will be 6 weeks, for c-sections 12 weeks are the minimum time. Most new mothers sit somewhere in between.
Before exercise you should have the abdominal wall separation checked by your doctor who may recommend physiotherapy before exercise. We can help you with physiotherapy referral.
The rule of thumb is it will take 9 months to recover form and function after pregnancy. For those breast feeding however, certain changes like ligamental laxity will last for as long as you breast feed. Programs can be changed depending on your decisions.
Prior to starting
We will have questions at each stage - during and after birth - to understand your physical situation and how that effects your pilates experience.
We will also ask some checks to be done again. If there are any contra-indications that arise we may ask you to wait and seek a medical opinion before beginning. In some rare cases I may not be able to help you.
In most cases however, this is a formality and we look forward to helping you stay in shape and manage the changes you experience throughout your pregnancy.