Pilates is an ideal form of exercise to help keep you fit, healthy and confident throughout your pregnancy journey and teaches you how to maintain safe postural alignment as your body changes to accommodate your baby’s development.
You will learn how to effectively recruit your deep core muscles to help support and protect your joints. This is important due to the presence of the pregnancy hormone relaxin which is released in the very early stages of pregnancy (around week 2) and ‘relaxes’ the ligaments around your joints in preparation for the baby’s delivery. Relaxin can be present in the body for up to 9 months after the birth, which may leave key joint structures like the spine and pelvis at risk of misalignment. To counteract this, pre and postnatal Pilates carefully balances strengthening and stability work with stretching and mobility exercises.
Of particular focus in prenatal Pilates are exercises that teach you how to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles which are put under a significant amount of pressure as your baby grows, and you will also learn how to relax them to assist during labour. Specific breathing and relaxation techniques will help to keep you calm and rested and promote an overall sense of positive wellbeing.
Postnatal Pilates is extremely beneficial in gently and effectively helping your body to recover after pregnancy and birth. Exercises will focus on restoring abdominal function and repair, particularly if diastasis recti is an issue. Pelvic floor strengthening will be addressed as will specific joint problems caused by ligamentous laxity such as pain in the lower back, sacroiliac joint and pubic symphysis. Upper body stability and release are also targeted to help with the demands placed on it by feeding and carrying your baby.
Class numbers are kept to a maximum of 6 to ensure a safe and effective practice in a supportive environment with careful consideration to each individual throughout the session and modifications and alternative exercises offered as necessary.
Prenatal class: Suitable from 16 weeks to full-term.
Postnatal class: Suitable from 6 weeks to 9 months post-partum.
All participants must complete either a pre or postal natal PAR-Q health questionnaire in advance of joining the class and been given permission from their GP or medical practitioner to participate, with no contraindications present.
The Pregnancy Pilates classes are taught by Julie Roberts, who is a qualified specialist Pilates for Pregnancy teacher with Body Control Pilates.