4 Reasons to Put Pilates on Your New Mom To-Do List
Prenatal and postnatal Pilates classes are quickly becoming the preferred exercise of new and expecting moms. Here's why you should totally jump on the bandwagon.
1) Increased body awareness
Whether you’re in your first trimester or currently cradling a 4-month old, your body is going through something extraordinary. Practicing Pilates is the perfect way to get more in tune with your body during this unique time. You may have heard of the elusive pelvic floor muscles that seem to be so important during pregnancy. Pilates helps you find and engage these muscles, and just as importantly, helps you learn how to release them when needed.
After giving birth, it’s important to understand your body as it is now. There’s a lot of hype in the media about women “getting their body back” after having kids. I don’t agree. Your body is still yours, but it is a completely different body than it was 9 months ago — and it should be! You’ve gone through a life-altering experience, and your body appreciates that. So instead of punishing ourselves for doing what our bodies are naturally meant to do, let’s appreciate them for taking us through the process.
2) Give your body what it needs
During pregnancy, just like during any other time in your life, the abdominals play an important role. But you can’t exactly execute the 100’s in the same way when you can’t see your toes. Pilates has safe, beneficial ways to exercise muscles that will aid you through pregnancy and birth.
After you’ve brought your little bundle into the world, your body needs some serious TLC. Just like if you’ve experienced a sports injury or undergone surgery (and some of you have!), your body needs rehabilitation. Many muscles don’t function in the same way, and your body has different needs now that you’re constantly tending to your tiny one. For example, during pregnancy, the abdominal muscles stretch out. After giving birth, many women find that there is a “split” in the middle of their abdominals (called diastasis). Pilates can help you safely and intentionally engage these muscles to correct this split. A growing uterus also changes your center of gravity and posture immensely. It’s important to work towards regaining a neutral spine after you’ve no longer got a bun in the oven. You may also find that carrying around a growing babe will require strong arms and upper backs. Bring on the upper body work!
3) It’s a safe haven
In a class of women who have been attuned to their expanding uteruses and increasing cup sizes for months, nothing is off-limits. We can’t always be so open about our bodies in a public setting, but it’s important stuff to talk about.
We also understand that new moms can’t always find a sitter. Bring your lil guy or gal along — maybe we’ll do some baby bicep curls!
4) It’s fun!
I think one of the most beneficial parts of pre- and postnatal Pilates classes is the bonding experience between women you may have never met otherwise. The difference in stages of pregnancy allows for exchanging of tips and tricks as well as a few laughs. Got a secret tip for first trimester nausea? Found the perfect way to sleep at 39 weeks? Freaking out about finding affordable childcare?! Chances are there’s a woman on the reformer across the room that could benefit from your wisdom, or that can offer you some of theirs.
Check out our schedule for our new mom-tastic classes:
Mom & Me Pilates — Fridays at 11am, starting May 5
Rachel and Lauren will trade off taking you and your little one (0-6 months old) through the workout your body needs after bringing her into the world. Please check with your doctor to make sure you’re cleared to exercise, especially after a C-section.
Prenatal Pilates — Saturdays at 12pm, starting May 6
No matter how big your baby bump, Rachel will take you through movements your body will appreciate. Modifications are always available for those further along in pregnancy. Please check with your doctor to make sure this class will be ok for you.
Can’t wait to see you in class!
And p.s. Join us Sunday, April 24 from 1-3 p.m. for our open house to kick off our OnPointe Mothers Pre-Postnatal Pilates program. This is a great opportunity to meet your trainers and talk to them about the new classes, learn more about Pilates, and mingle with other expecting and new moms. You can RSVP here.
Author: Ali Weeks