Pilates and Pregnancy with Claudia Armani
Claudia is a local Pilates instructor, fully trained in mat and equipment. She has trained in Pre & Postnatal Pilates with Lynne Robinson of Body Control and recived further training through Jennifer Gianni who are two of the world’s most renowned Pilates experts. She visits clients in the privacy and convenience of their own home in the areas of Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea.
Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful times of your life. Each trimester will bring new and exciting changes in your body, but also few challenges. Exercising during pregnancy can help keep your body strong and relieve some of the issues related to the postural changes and the weight of the growing baby.
Pilates with its focus on the core, back and hip muscles, is the most specific type of exercise to do during pregnancy. It can be safe and gentle, and extremely adaptable to the need of a pregnant woman. It will address your postural changes, not only to keep those back issues at bay, but also to prepare your body for the post-natal phase when posture plays a crucial part in the recovery of the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor.
There are no known scientific studies that advice against Pilates during the first 12 weeks. However given the high possibility of miscarriage in the first three months, and the focus on the deeper abdominal muscles, you will see that most Pilates instructors will not take a client in the first 12 to 16 weeks of pregnancy. If you have trained with someone previously though, she or he might be happy to carry on with you, although guidelines advice against starting a new physical activity in this early stage.
If your GP has given you the OK to exercise, then it is at this stage that you can resume your Pilates activity.
A lot of what can be done will depend on how you feel, your previous level of fitness and also any injuries and health complaints you might have.
After your first trimester many common Pilates exercises will need to be modified to adapt to the physical and cardiovascular changes in pregnancy.
Exercise in a supine position is contraindicated due to the possibility of obstruction of venous return (blood going back to your heart) as it could cause dizziness and even fainting. To avoid this problem, you might use a pregnancy “wedge” to prop you up, or a fitness ball. The ball will be also useful for post-natal recovery.
Abdominal flexion is contraindicated as it may increase the risk of abdominal separation also known as Diastasis Recti. So no Hundred for you at this point!
Squats are a great exercise for pregnancy. Not only they will keep your legs and bottom toned and strong, but they are also one of the positions advised to prepare for the birth of the baby.
Make sure that your alignment is correct though, as sometimes the wrong techniques can put unwanted pressure on your knees.
Your joints will now be more flexible thanks to the hormone “relaxin” responsible to make your ligaments and tendon more flexible during childbirth, so it important to keep range of movement under control. Pilates for its work on the “stability” of the joints, is therefore one of the best exercises to keep your joint supple and strong.
Make sure you take breaks between exercises, follow your own body and stay hydrated.
Time to let go! At this stage it’s important to introduce more relaxation, and tune in even more, with your body. Pelvic floor stretches, some lengthening of the lateral fascia, and gentle stretches to relieve the pressure of the growing baby will also help. Pilates will keep your body mobile, improving blood circulation and helping to relieve those swollen ankles and postural ache and pains due to the growth of the baby.
Relaxin, will be at all time high at this time so don’t forget to keep the range of movement a bit smaller to avoid injuries and keep on working on the joints “stability” also using props like theraband.
To book a home Pilates sessions with Claudia visit www.pilateswellness.co.uk
Claudia is currently offering a promotion on any of her block booking classes, exclusively for Mums In The Wood