Pregnancy is such a beautiful and exciting time for a woman. The 9-month journey can bring joy and anticipation as well as concern and worry as your body undergoes many changes. Pilates is a great way to stay in shape and connected to your body throughout your pregnancy. Read on to find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Pilates and pregnancy. If your question isn’t here, please give us a call and we’ll answer any question you may have!
Is it safe to do Pilates while pregnant?
Yes! Pilates is a healthy and gentle yet effective means to keeping the body in shape and moving throughout your pregnancy. You and your instructor will focus on core control, pelvic floor, posture, balance, and breathing to help you transition with your body throughout your pregnancy, delivery, and post-natal recovery.
What are the benefits of doing Pilates while pregnant?
Pilates focuses on building strength at your core, specifically your deep abdominals and pelvic floor, and both sets of muscles will help you carry yourself and your baby better as well as aid in pushing during delivery. Additionally, Pilates improves your sense of where you are in space and your balance, which is essential as your center of gravity changes. Maintaining a healthy upright posture and building upper body strength is important throughout your pregnancy, but is especially beneficial after delivery when you will find yourself carrying the newborn, diaper bags, car seats, etc. Pilates does all this and more! Lastly, Pilates’ use of deep breathing will help you to relax and your body to open.
Can I continue in my mat and Group Equipment classes? How about Specialty Classes?
The demands and goals of a pregnant body are quite different from those of a non-pregnant body. To meet these goals and deliver a safe and effective workout to all our clients, Pilates Studio City does not allow pregnant clients into our Pilates classes. Private Pilates and Gyrotonic sessions are a wonderful way to keep the body moving safely throughout your pregnancy. Additionally, prenatal clients are more than welcome to participate in a few of our Specialty Classes. Belly Dance would be a fun workout if you are feeling well. Gyrokinesis is open to prenatal clients until their third trimester begins. NIA and Yoga are open to prenatal clients in any trimester. Keep your body aligned and centered with weekly private sessions, and then sprinkle in these unique Specialty Classes as wanted and/or needed!
Why do I have to bring in a medical release form? Can I bring one from my midwife?
Pregnancy is a beautiful miracle of the human body, which undergoes many changes during this period. Before we as instructors can proceed to address the musculature and postural changes of the pregnant body, we must be assured that there are no medical problems. Since we are not medically trained, we cannot assess your medical situation. Once we have a signed release form from your doctor or midwife, we can proceed undistracted without any undue concern to bring the benefits of Pilates to you, your body, and your baby.
How will my workout change throughout the pregnancy?
Your private sessions will be designed to fit the unique needs of you and your changing body. While there are general patterns of the pregnant body, your instructor will be sure to address your pregnant body. In your first trimester you may feel the greatest change in your body and energy levels, though simultaneously you are still able to perform most Pilates exercises without much adjustment during this period. Once you begin your second trimester, there are certain positions and exercises that you should avoid. In general, your workouts will slow down in intensity as your pregnancy advances, but you will still feel the same amount of work and challenge. Special attention will be paid to the proper core engagement, which entails slower, more supported abdominal work and an emphasis on pelvic floor engagement. Careful stretching, breathing, and relaxing will become more central to your workouts toward the end of your pregnancy. Once you return to your workouts after delivery, you and your instructor will pick up where you left off and slowly increase the intensity of your workout while allowing your body to recover and heal.
What other forms of movement at your studio can I do while I am pregnant?
Private Gyrotonic sessions, Gyrokinesis classes (up to the third trimester), Belly Dance (if you are feeling up to it), NIA, and Yoga classes are all great ways to move your body during pregnancy in addition to private Pilates sessions.
How soon can I return to my normal workout after delivery?
We want you to return to the studio as soon as possible! For vaginal births, that is no sooner than 6 weeks, and for C-sections, that is no sooner than 3 months. These time frames allow your body the time it needs to heal. We also like to have a medical release form signed by your doctor stating that you may return to Pilates and exercise. It is best to return to private sessions with your instructor so that s/he can pick up where you both left off and gradually return your body to its normal workouts.