Antenatal Clinical Pilates : Tuesdays - 6.00pm-7.00pm
Mum & Babies Clinical Pilates : Thursdays - 11.35am-12.35pm
Exercise and Pregnancy
Exercise during pregnancy and postnatal is important, and women often are nervous and unsure when and what type of exercise is safe. NHS guidelines recommend you stay active, and keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sport, walking, running, pilates/ yoga,) for as long as you feel comfortable. The more active you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth. Research has also found moderate exercise can reduce risks of pre-term labour, and can even shorten labour. Exercise is not dangerous for your baby – there is even some evidence that suggests active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour. However if you were not active before pregnancy, you need to take more care when introducing exercise, but it doesn't mean you can't start.
Pilates is a toning and conditioning exercise program that concentrates on building a strong 'core' of abdominal, spinal and pelvic floor muscles. A strong 'core' during pregnancy acts as a brace to the spine and pelvis to support the extra weight of your baby and offer stability to your joints. Antenatal Pilates helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles reduce abdominal separation (diastasis recti) during pregnancy and reduces weakening and stretching of the pelvic floor after pregnancy. Furthermore, a stronger pelvic floor can aid an easier labour, reduce pregnancy induced back pain, improves balance due to ever changing centre of gravity, reduces stress and anxiety and and enhances general health and well being.
Benefits of Antenatal Pilates
- Regain & maintain tummy & pelvic floor muscles
- Reduce risk of abdominal separation
- Improve general well being, reduce stress and anxiety
- Group exercise allows you to meet new mums
- Correct posture
- Maintain muscle tone, strength & flexibility
- Reduce lower back and pelvic girdle pain
- Reduce swelling and fluid retention
- Faster postnatal recovery
- Remain active during pregnancy
Is it safe to exercise?
Women are often scared to exercise during pregnancy, but it’s natural to worry. However, NHS guidlines encourage women to exercise when pregnant. Clinical Pilates provides a safe, low impact and fun way to maintain your fitness levels and keep active for almost everyone who is pregnant. Try to Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sport, walking, running, yoga,) for as long as you feel comfortable, but make sure it is the right form of exercise for you. Exercise is not dangerous for your baby – there is even some evidence that suggests active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour. However if you were not active before pregnancy, you need to take more care when introducing exercise, but it doesn't mean you can't start. See NHS guidelines for more info
When can I exercise?
We recommend you wait to start antenatal pilates until your 2nd trimester before starting the class, but if you have been coming to one of our clinical pilates classes already, this may not be necessary. You do not have to attend the specific antenatal class, some women like to join or continue in the normal mixed classes. If you are new to exercise or pilates you can speak to our instructor to assess your suitability.
Antenatal Warning Signs and Exercise
Pregnancy is not a time to increase abdominal tone, however you work to maintain existing tone. Therefore avoid crunches and sits ups after the first trimester.
Stop exercising if you experience any of the following:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Shortness of breathe before reaching your normal exertion limit
- Chest pain
- Amniotic fluid leakage
- Calf pain or swelling
Clinical Pilates can play a key role in helping your body recover from pregnancy and childbirth. Pilates can help to regain control of your pelvic floor muscles and help to strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles, reduce back pain, and help you to regain your pre-pregnancy body. Exercises are also used to strengthen your back, upper body, buttock muscles and legs – everything you need to keep a good posture and to lift your growing baby!
Postnatal Pilates Benefits
- Faster recovery after delivery
- Regaining strength, tone & flexibility
- Strengthen your posture
- Recovery of abdominal diastasis
- Getting back to exercise safely
- Help to relieves back and pelvic girdle pain
- Improve fitness and weight loss
- Meeting other new mums
When can I start a Postnatal Pilates?
Based on medical guidelines from ACOG, RCOG and POGP for Exercise in Pregnancy, the APPI recommends that Modified Pilates can be commenced from 6 weeks post stable vaginal delivery providing you have had your postnatal check up from the doctor/GP and have been cleared for exercise. If you had an assisted vaginal delivery e.g. forceps or ventouse or required a significant number of stitches then this may delay ability to join a class at 6 weeks. For someone who is familiar with Pilates they may be able to commence earlier than this, especially with the more gentle exercises. We always ask to see you for a 1-2-1 session before you start the postnatal class to discuss your delivery and recovery and help make sure you get the most out of your classes.Women who had a c-section are advise to wait until 8-12 weeks once your postnatal check has cleared you for exercise.
Before you start
We want you to get the most benefit from coming to the classes So, we recommend that you attend a 1:1 clinical consultation before you start any ante/post natal classes. By having an assessment, the therapist can assess you for diastisis recti (abdominal separation postnatal), and check your general strength and control of abdominal, pelvic and spinal control. Especially if you suffered with and lower back and pelvic pain issues during pregnancy. We can then assess your suitability for class and tailor exercises to the individual needs - making sure you're all doing the right exercises for YOU, not just a set of standard gym exercises week in week out without a goal. If you would like to chat to the instructor to see if your suitable then call us NOW
The instructor is a specially trained APPI Pilates Instructor, and also graduate sports therapist. This means that during class you can exercise safely and will be supported by someone who has knowledge and understands how your body works, especially with the immense changes that take place during and after pregnancy. They can offer exercises and advise on how to prevent or minimise any pain or injury.
There will only ever be a maximum of 8 people per class, so you will really feel the benefit of the Instructor getting to know you and get more from the class. Small class numbers allows the instructor to move round and check that you are doing the exercises correctly and help any adjustments on an individual basis.
Can I bring my baby to class?
You are welcome to bring along your baby to the friday morning mum and Baby postnatal class up until the point of crawling. Once they are on the move it can cause a health & safety issue!! Although, many Mums do like to have the hour to concentrate on themselves without distraction if they have someone to leave their baby with.