Post Natal Pilates. Why is it so good for new mum bodies?

Post Natal Pilates in Epping.

 

 

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You know you probably should be doing it but it seems like everything else about having a new baby seems more important than an exercise class.

After all, you’ve just been through a massive physical and emotional upheaval and you’re just about managing to shower and get out of the house. An exercise class, where you don’t have a clue what you’re doing, might just tip you over the edge.

But perhaps you aught to give it a try … *has visions of blissed out relaxation session with baby snuggling up or sleeping peacefully*

Oops … sorry to disappoint but baby is just as likely to poop, posset or just have a grouchy day in class as he/she is at home.

Admittedly not everyone likes exercise, and exercising in a group environment, when you already feel a little self conscious about your body, might feel a little intimidating.

I’m a firm believer in the power of exercise to make you feel better, to prevent injury and to improve your health. So, I thought perhaps some post natal Pilates FAQs might allay some fears and make it all just a little more approachable.

How is Pilates different to yoga?

I’ve written about this in Pilates or yoga but for the purposes of post natal exercise Pilates is fantastic if you have a specific issue like pelvic floor, C-section recovery, abdominal separation or you want to get stronger. Post natal yoga is a lovely thing to do with baby and you’re more likely to exercise together/focus on baby. Pilates is specifically for mums and is great for that all important core strength.

Is Pilates any good for gym bunnies?

Yes. Absolutely. Pilates is ideal if you want to get back to gym or strength training or running. It will help you build the core, abdominal and leg strength you need to get back to your higher impact exercise.

What should I wear?

Anything you feel comfortable in.  Although snugly fitting clothes do make it easier for me and you to see what’s going on.

What will I need to bring?

Nothing. My classes are mat work based and all mats are provided. Perhaps a few favourite toys and a blanket since you’re coming to a bring a baby class (I should stress babies don’t take part in my classes, they are welcome to be close to you but I don’t believe in ‘using’ babies as part of your workout – plus they like to watch and do their own thing).

What will we be doing?

Mainly sitting/lying/kneeling on a mat. It’s all very slow and controlled. Put simply, Pilates will strengthen all the muscles in your torso. So tummy, back, shoulders, bottom. We’ll also be getting your joints moving and helping your body to feel better. We’ll also do some standing work for your legs, bum and pelvic floor. All part of the system to get you back to you again post baby.

Why is it so important when I’ve had a baby?

No matter how the baby came out, your posture, abdominal wall, back, bottom and pelvic floor will have been affected by pregnancy and birth. Pilates is one of the best ways of getting your body back to it’s pre pregnancy state and of preventing injuries and health problems in the future.

Do I need to be flexible?

No. Most people start Pilates very stiff and inflexible. It takes time to develop flexibility and the worst thing you can do is get frustrated by the lack of it. Plus, post pregnancy, as in pregnancy, it’s important not to overstretch. Your ligaments and joints are still affected by pregnancy hormones.

Do I need to be co-ordinated?

No. There are no grapevines, box steps or square dances in Pilates. And most of the time other participants are too focused on what they’re doing to spot if you’ve gone wrong.

Will I get sweaty?

You won’t be dripping but you can expect to glow a little.

Is it all just breathe breathe?

No. Pilates is mindful exercise, which requires you to concentrate on the quality of your movements but there’s a lot more to it than breathing and stretching. Expect to be challenged.

What about this pelvic floor stuff – isn’t it embarrassing to do it in front of other people?

Pelvic floor exercises are incorporated into the class, no one will know. If we do spend time specifically focusing on pelvic floor I ensure we aren’t all looking at each other.

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If you do want to give it a try I currently teach one post natal specific class and my Foundations class which is great for post natal mummies who’d rather exercise without baby or have perhaps left some time between birth and getting back to exercise:

Post Natal Pilates ‘bring a baby’ –  Ceremony Room, Epping (above Epping library). Tuesdays at 10.45am.  Babies don’t participate – this is a class for mummies where babies are welcome (up to crawling). 

Do get in touch via email at info@fit-school.co.uk. I don’t bite!

 

 

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