The benefits of Pilates are many, but one group of people it can really help is pregnant women and new mums.
The brilliant thing about Pilates in pregnancy is that there are progressions of every exercise for before you fall pregnant all the way through until the birth and in recovery. We know that the women who regularly practise Pilates are stronger and more able to adapt to the physical changes their bodies go through.
Most important to mention is the way Pilates will strengthen your core and also the crucial pelvic floor muscles, which criss-cross like a hammock inside your pelvis, supporting the weight of your uterus and baby as they grow.
If you don’t already practise Pilates, it’s best to start as early, whilst your body is still in ‘your normal’ state so you understand how the exercises feel and before the hormone, Relaxin, flows too strongly. Relaxin is a hormone which gradually relaxes the muscles, joints and ligaments in the body in preparation for birth. In pregnancy this may mean you’re susceptible to over-stretching or injury to areas like knees and wrists.
Post-pregnancy, Pilates is one of the first types of fitness that you can safely return to. When your medical team advise it, your physical recovery can create a stronger and more flexible you. It’s not about returning to a certain figure that you had within a certain timeframe (unless you really want to of course) but the focus is on helping you to be supple, stable and with a strong core – and able to cope with the physical demands of having a child as they get heavier and more mobile. Even picking up and carrying an older baby or holding a toddler can place very tough demands on your body years after birth. The more you are in tune with your body and that impact, the better.
To help women in the post-pregnancy stage, we’re delighted to team up with Louise Keily Crane, who is now offering a baby massage course alongside our new mum and baby Pilates course by our Principal, Maria, at The Pilates Suite studio in Hampton Wick.
Louise Kiely Crane is a local mum and founder of Mums and Babies Wellbeing, offering baby massage, one-to-one maternal counselling and she also runs antenatal and postnatal groups. Below she shares with us some of the benefits of massage for mum, dad and baby…
I’ve been working with mums for twenty years and firmly believe that a happy wellbeing is linked with a healthy lifestyle.
Becoming a mum for the first time can be daunting experience and when women make the transition into motherhood it can be a wonderful but also challenging time. We often have to face how it feels to take time away from work and then juggle returning after maternity leave, fluctuating hormones and other health issues as well as finding the time for our relationships and ourselves.
My specialism is the wellbeing of women and babies and a baby massage course is helpful for bonding with your baby – and practicing at home can help your baby to be calm and relaxed. Baby massage is also wonderful for supporting good digestion, helping ease Colic, Reflux and wind, and produces feel-good hormones in mum, dad and baby.
You can book a four week baby massage course with Louise at our Hampton studio and also enjoy a four week course of Mum and Baby Pilates classes with Maria. The baby massage course is £50 and the Pilates class is £40 or £90 in total.
And if you’re in the Farnham area and are interested in starting Pilates before, during or after pregnancy, please also get in touch to discuss how we can help.