Historically pregnant women avoided exercise in fear that increased exertion would harm the baby.
Now exercise is encouraged to all women with uncomplicated pregnancies and considered to be safe and healthy practice.
Prenatal Pilates is a safe and effective way to continue exercising throughout pregnancy. It works with your changing body offering appropriate and effective ways to exercise throughout pregnancy.
Pilates exercises are adaptable to the changing needs and structure of the pregnant body, working within safe limits of the physical and physiological shifts which occur throughout pregnancy and after.
Prenatal Pilates targets deep muscles which help the body maintain supportive postural alignment as its structure changes. By building endurance strength in core muscles, Pilates based exercises supports the body in pregnancy and prepares the body for childbirth.
Benefits for you…
- Encourages continued Supportive Posture
- Reduces Back Pain
- Uses deep Breathing Techniques which acts as our natural Pain Relief and helps to engage core muscle groups which support the spine
- Strengthens Pelvic Floor muscles to help prevent incontinence and prolapse
- Increases Muscle Endurance Strength
- Aids Relaxation & Stress Release
- Increases Energy
- Improves Sleeping Habits
How does it work?
Pilates based exercises supports postural health. Maintaining strength during the second and third trimester helps maintain good posture and reduces back pain. 60% of women report experiencing lower back pain during pregnancy. With a natural increase in weight and shift in the centre of gravity, more stress is placed on the lumbar spine. By strengthening core group muscles and maintaining muscle activation during pregnancy, the body is supported in its changing postural alignment reducing the risk of back pain.
Pilates is a safe and effective way to continue exercising throughout pregnancy continuing to reap the benefits of physical exercises and aiding weight management. General benefits of physical exercises include healthy sleeping patterns and digestion, improved circulation and increase in energy levels. Regular exercise during pregnancy has also been found to help manage weight fluctuations and may prevent and/or help manage gestational diabetes.
Pilates can enhance one’s psychological well-being with research showing that regular physical activity boosts moods and improves overall mental well-being. Pilates provides a space to relax and decompress.
Pilates builds body awareness aiding the connection between mind and body which is invaluable during pregnancy and childbirth. By focusing on breathing techniques, core muscle engagement and correct alignment in movement, Pilates based exercises work with the fundamental components of life encouraging mindfulness and mental grounding.
Returning to exercise and physical activity in the postpartum period is an important step. For women with uncomplicated pregnancies and for those who have been cleared for physical activity postnatally, physical activity is highly beneficial for both mind and body.
Postnatal Pilates eases one back into exercise gently and safely, building a solid basis to which to develop and challenge. Postnatal Pilates is effective in safely reconstructing internal muscle alignment and rebuilding strength and endurance, particularly the inner core muscles which are essential for any efficient movement and prevention of injury.
The body changes during pregnancy and it is important that these changes are addressed after childbirth. During pregnancy there is a natural weakening of muscles due to the structural and hormonal changes undergone during pregnancy. These muscles require strengthening and realigning in order to ensure you can do all the lifting, holding, bending down, leaning over and everything else that comes with having a baby. Through functional movement and core based exercises, postnatal Pilates helps you get to a place where you can do all the physical activities you did before pregnancy safely and efficiently.
Like Prenatal Pilates, postnatal Pilates adapts to your changing body. Exercises are appropriately modified, focusing on any issues that may have arisen during pregnancy and labour, specifically targeting weakened abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
Restoration and Strength: Pre-and Postnatal Pilates:
Restores Deep Muscle Group Control
Pilates exercises work on deep core muscles of the torso helping to stabilise the lumbar spine and reduce the risk of back injuries.
Improves Diastasis Recti
Diastasis Recti (separation of the rectus abdominus) makes you vulnerable to back pain as it causes weakness in the core. Pilates strengthens abdominal muscles and helps prevent future conditions such as back pain or sciatica.
Builds a Strong Foundation for more Intense Training
Postnatal Pilates is the first step in preparing your body for more intense physical training. Pilates based exercises offer a safe and effective way to build a strong and supportive base getting the body ready for more rigorous exercise.
Improves Pelvic Floor
Pelvic floor exercises are an essential part of any Pilates programme. Focus on pelvic floor and core muscle groups is vital in managing postnatal issues such as stress, incontinence and other problems that may have arisen such as prolapse. Pilates teaches women to reconnect and strengthen pelvic floor muscles to help improve posture, core strength and internal stability.
When can I start?
It is generally advised that exercise can commence 6 weeks after a vaginal birth and 8-12 weeks for those who have had a caesarean section. When you have been cleared by your health care provider and feel ready to exercise you can start building inner core strength in a safe and effective way.
Through postnatal Pilates you can ensure your body is prepared to take on everyday physical tasks, creating a solid foundation to which to build your physical fitness again.
Who will benefit?
- Restores Deep Muscle engagement and control
- Improves Diastasis Recti
- Strengthens Pelvic floor muscles
- Builds a Strong & Balanced Foundation
- Restore Good Posture
- Strengthens Body & Mind Connection aiding Mindfulness
- Improves Body Confidence
- Provides a Space to Recharge
Meet Sophie Barrett MSc, BA (Hons), Dip, CertHE
I am a qualified Pilates instructor and Pre and Postnatal Pilates instructor, specialising in Posture & Movement Correction, Core Conditioning, Muscular Activation & Strengthening and Soft Tissue Rehabilitation and Realignment.
With over ten years of training and experience in the fitness industry, I have a thorough understanding of the biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system in dysfunction, healthy functioning and in pre and postnatal development. I have worked with a range of individuals of varying abilities and needs.
• those who are pregnant and wish to continue exercising safely and/or strengthen deep muscles in preparation for childbirth;
• those returning to exercise after childbirth wishing to build core strength safely and effectively;
• those with postural misalignment and chronic muscular tension;
• those rehabilitating from injury and wishing to get back to their previous level of fitness;
• those in sports training or gym training wishing to include functional movement and mobility session into their training routine to improve performance and prevent injury;
• those wishing to develop their physical fitness and improve their general well-being. I hold virtual Pilates classes and in person one-on-one sessions.