Pilates for Mummies
Pilates during pregnancy
to prepare you for birth
My goal as your personal Pilates Instructor is to understand you, my client, as a unique and whole individual, and to provide you with a personalised prenatal and postnatal plan that can work with you side-by-side in your unique journey towards motherhood.
I will take into account your lifestyle and offer you a program that will help support your pregnant body and preparation for childbirth. The program consists of balance, coordination, strength, and relaxation. The exercises are focused on incorporating the core muscles correctly (pelvic floor, deep abdominals, back and breathing muscles) which are very important when it comes to childbirth. Low impact but effective exercise such as Pilates during pregnancy creates good blood circulation and can help reduce bodily aches and pains. The breathing technique which is the foundation of Pilates exercise can help ease labour pains during contractions. Should you go for an elected Caesarean birth or saved by an emergency Caesarean birth, the work you did during pregnancy will help you with your recovery.
The prenatal program I teach may differ from most general Pilates classes which tend to over stress the strengthening of the pelvic floor which, during pregnancy actually needs to become equally strong and supple, in order to facilitate the delivery process. Closer to birth, the pelvic floor especially need to relax. This prenatal program is true to the Pilates method principles however modified to suit the pregnant body. It is specifically tailored for your own personal fitness level at the differing stages of your pregnancy.
'Pregnancy and birth are miraculous,
and often our marvel at this miracle makes it easy to forget that it is a very physical event that can really take a toll on the body. As natural as it is, pregnancy and childbirth can leave the body in an injured state. But with the right information and preparation, injury can be minimized and recovery optimized.'
Kim Vopni - The Vagina Coach.
Author of 'Prepare to Push'.
Restoring your body
after birth with Pilates
Post childbirth care is very crucial. Rehabilitation and care for the mother after the birth is vital and should be a priority. As your Pilates Instructor, I am here to support your recovery as soon as you are ready to return to the exercise mat or Pilates studio.
However, I highly encourage all my new mothers, first time or not, to see a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist (PFP) six weeks after birth for a thorough post natal check up. A PFP or a Women Wellness Physiotherapist will asses your pelvis, abdominals and do an internal examination of your pelvic floor. The findings you gain from your session with PFP will help me accurately design your rehabilitation program.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, I will have prepared you with a specific breathing technique that is safe to be performed hours after birth, followed by several safe and gentle healing exercises for the following days after. After birth, you may not feel your muscles working as per during your pregnancy as most will be stretched and fatigued and movement will not be felt. Therefore muscle memory and breathing exercises will help wake up your core unit and assists your recovery process, reconnecting and working to realign the body naturally.
This core breathing technique will also assist the recovery process of your abdomen, pelvic floor muscles and help heal the wounds of any tears, scars and stitches that have happened during birth - both vaginal and Caesarean. Damage to the pelvic floor during childbirth may occur due to intervention of the forceps, episiotomy or vacuum. Caesarean birth can also affect the pelvic floor. This is because the pelvic floor have been supporting the weight of the baby through out pregnancy and the Caesarean procedure affects the deep abdominal muscle which is connected to your pelvic floor.
It is important to know that regardless of the state of your fitness level during pregnancy that your post-natal exercise program will be made according to the type of birth you had, be it vaginal birth or C-section. Therefore, when you are ready for your first Pilates session after birth I would ask for you to share with me as little or as much possible your birth experience in order for me to understand what your body has gone through and so that I can design your rehabilitation accordingly.
After your birth, we will look at:
rehabilitating your core muscles
diastasis recti recovery
gradually strengthening and stabilising your body
realigning the pelvis to the spine
breathing and releasing techniques that will help with relaxation, centering and healing
The pregnancy and the post-natal program I will be putting together in our private sessions will be tailored to you as an individual.
I have been extremely surprised that my back has not sprained in all this time, and I am sure it is because of the carefully considered approach that Safiah has lead me throughout my pregnancy. She has been on the end of the phone when I had queries, I have felt so lucky to have been supported by such a knowledgeable and understanding professional. I strongly believe practitioners like Safiah should be recommended to all women whilst they prepare for child birth and beyond.
39 Years Old