For those of you with new babies who are reading this blog: congratulations on the birth of your baby! Whether it’s your first or fifth, I’m sure you’re thrilled and delighted with your little bundle of joy. And if you’re a new parent, you’ve maybe started to think about exercising again and that’s where postnatal Pilates or other postnatal exercise regimes can help.
For this blog, let’s focus on pilates! Regular postnatal Pilates classes are specifically designed to firm and strengthen core muscles in order to create a well-toned silhouette. A good instructor should focus on building strength in your back, abdominal and arm muscles which helps with all the bending and lifting that goes along with having a new baby.
With pilates, you can expect to feel better, sleep easier and enjoy a greater sense of contentment. And that’s not all! The other benefits of coming to Pilates classes after pregnancy are that:
- You regain your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles gradually and safely
- You correct and improve your posture which will have changed during pregnancy
- You lose any extra padding and gain shape and definition
- You get out and meet other new mums
The do’s and don’ts of postnatal Pilates:
- Take things gently and gradually
- Wait until your midwife or OB/GYN says it is okay to resume sports activities before attending your first class (generally around 6 weeks postpartum)
- Be persistent as your body will feel very different from your pre-pregnancy days
- Wear a loose-fitting but supportive sports bra
- Breastfeed before exercise (for your own comfort, full breasts & exercise doesn’t always mix — more on breastfeeding & exercise)
- Exercise yourself into exhaustion
- Carry out any forward flexion exercises if an abdominal separation (diastasis) is present (a good instructor will check this before you start the class)
- Over-stretch (especially whilst breastfeeding as the hormone relaxin will still be present).
So there you have it, Pilates is safe and it works from your early postpartum days right through to menopause and beyond. And when your baby’s grown, you can continue your Pilates training with a variety of other classes to keep you sleek, supple and injury-free !
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This blog contributed by Johdi Woodford, certified Pilates Instructor and the founder of Little Bird Pilates in Gland.
Johdi has a 5 year-old daughter and her son has just turned 1.
Little Bird Pilates offers a Postnatal Pilates class at 10h15 every Thursday in Gland, babies are welcome too!
Please go to www.facebook.com/littlebpilates or call 078 708 3938 for further information.