PILATES IN PREGNANCY
Being pregnant is amazing, it’s also exhausting and emotional as well as a little frightening. Your body is growing another life and will be going through many changes. This said, pregnancy is not an illness, it’s a condition, a very natural and magical one.
Here you’ll find tips and advice if you’re a new mum or a mum-to-be so that you can be in the best shape before, during and after your pregnancy.
This could be your first or third pregnancy, you could be planning to have a baby or you have recently given birth, wherever you are in your journey as a mum or mum-to-be you will be bombarded with information about what to do, what not to do, what you should be eating and if or what exercise you should be doing.
As your body changes with your growing bump, your exercise routine will too, and that’s ok.
As a rule, it isn’t advised to suddenly take up a new exercise class or go skydiving for the first time, however, if you are new to exercise and suddenly have a primal instinct to get fit and be prepared for pregnancy and birth, there are safe and recommended exercises you can do.
If you regularly exercise, there’s no reason you can’t continue as you were, making adjustments as you progress through your pregnancy.
Pilates is a brilliant way to build your strength in mind and body for your journey ahead.
real pregnancy stories
You may have concerns about exercising whilst pregnant and reassurance is always good.
I taught classes (Pilates, RPM and body conditioning) whilst I was pregnant with both my children. Livvy is now 10 and Jay is 8.
Both pregnancies were very different as were the births, but maintaining my exercise regime and adjusting as my bumps grew, kept me strong, fit and healthy during each pregnancy, helped me during labour with breathing techniques and understanding my body and recovery after giving birth was relatively straight forward.
With my eldest, I taught Pilates on Friday and gave birth the following Tuesday and with my youngest I gave birth 10 days after teaching my last class before going on maternity leave. I gave my body time to recover during the six weeks following each birth, just working on my pelvic floor and going out for walks and started my return to pre-pregnancy exercise six weeks after giving birth.
Pilates gave me calmness for my mind and confidence in my body to trust it to help me grow and nurture my unborn children. I also think the calmness and peace you find with Pilates helped both my babies to be great sleepers – both going through the night at 11 weeks – they still clock up 10-12 hours a night each now!
Two of my clients have kindly agreed to share their pre and post natal stories with you.
I started my pilates journey with Sam’s classes to help with my posture and flexibility in the hope it would reduce the amount of migraines I suffered. It turned out that pilates would also end up benefiting me massively in terms of my pregnancy journey, as I then fell pregnant with my first baby!
After missing a couple of months due to sickness, I re-joined classes and continued throughout my entire pregnancy, I think I did my last session just a week or so before my baby boy was born. Obviously there were some exercises I couldn’t physically do with a growing bump, but not to worry as Sam always had another safe option for me.
I really felt it kept me physically strong, and prevented any aches or pains. In fact doing the sessions felt a bit like massage for me, it was lovely to stretch out muscles which would have otherwise likely have become tight and painful.
I was really really lucky that the birth of my first baby was exactly as I had hoped, nice and quick, and in a birthing pool with nothing more than gas and air for pain relief.
Don’t get me wrong it was the worst pain I ever experienced, but somehow I managed to remain calm and I genuinely believe a big part of that was through breathing and focus techniques I have learned through Sam’s pilates classes.
I fell pregnant again in late 2020 and having now recovered from awful sickness again I knew it was really important for me to make the time to start pilates to help me through pregnancy and hopefully another smooth birth. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into Fusion sessions as I almost think in my mind pilates gives me more confidence in my body for the huge changes It has to go through in pregnancy.
A huge thank you to Sam for getting me back into it safely and hopefully we can all get back to that cosy studio soon too!
I have nothing but gratitude for how Pilates helped me during pregnancy, in labour and post-nataly.
I’ve been doing Sam’s classes since 2013 when I was struggling with sleep following a bereavement.
I fell pregnant in 2016 with my son Ryan and I was determined to carry on with Pilates for as long as I could – I was so proud that I made it until 38 weeks.
I had a very easy pregnancy.
I was worried that having been a ‘try the hardest option’ kind of person I would struggle with not being able to do everything – I shouldn’t have been concerned as Sam was brilliant, always finding an option to suit the trimester I was in, but at the same time, making it challenging and I always felt part of the group.
I’m convinced that still being active late into the final weeks meant I had a much easier labour.
Thankfully Sam let me come back to class after 6 weeks, not only was it great to get back into exercise, but that 1 hr a week in adult company without being covered in sick and poo and being screamed at really helped with the mental challenges of having a newborn.
Again Sam adapted the routine to suit the stage of my recovery, always making sure that I didn’t push it too much.
In 2020, I found out I was pregnant again a week before we went into lockdown (so not a lockdown baby as we’re frequently asked with a wink) and this time it was completely different.
Not only had classes become Zoom sessions in the lounge but I had to contend with sickness and terrible tiredness.
Sam has done an absolutely brilliant job in keeping the classes going in such a difficult time.
With a growing bump I stuck with it until as long as possible and again had a really good birth – I made it to hospital just in time, baby Fleur popped out 11mins after arriving at the birthing centre.
Recovery has been good, getting back to Zoom classes at 6 weeks post-natal has helped strengthen my pelvic floor. The only difficulty now is keeping two kids entertained whilst I exercise!