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Pilates During Pregnancy

I am so excited to be part of this speciality class for Dynamic Pilates TV!! The “Pilates and Pregnancy” Workout is what I consider, “an educational class.” It is not a full flow, nor super challenging. I put it together to talk about concepts that are important when working with the pregnant client, and can be adapted to other pilates apparatus, class flow, or mat work.

Health Recommendations for Exercise During Pregnancy:

Exercise is highly recommended during pregnancy, and pilates is a safe and effective mode of exercise to work on core and postural strength and overall strength and mobility during pregnancy.

Most national pregnancy associations and obstetrics guidelines recommend 30 min of exercise most days of the week. Always a good rule of thumb to double check with your doctor/OB-Gyn to double check and monitor throughout your pregnancy, if there is any reason that you should not continue exercise.

If your client is experiencing a pain or issue, have her discuss with her MD, and if needed have her see a Physical Therapist who specializes in women’s health, to help guide her.

You should stop an exercise if: shortness of breath, headache, chest pain, bleeding, leakage, contraction, decreased fetal movement, or instructed by MD.

How you can Care for Your Pregnant Pilates Clients

As a pilates instructor we create relationships with our clients and they grow to trust us. We also have friends and family who will seek out our advice. With this said, often a woman may talk to you before she gets pregnant curious about pilates. This is valuable, I recommend that women start pilates and/or a regular exercise program, before they get pregnant. This way, the are familiar with the exercises, have the initial strength, and can more easily modify and adapt through pregnancy. I personally have been made aware of clients’ pregnancy earlier than their family so we can work together to make a safe plan.

It is always good to be aware of your client throughout the class and educate them. I always tell my pregnancy clients to bring water and a snack to class, just incase they need it to maintain blood sugar. Additionally, to pace themselves and if anything doesn’t feel comfortable, let me know. Since women during pregnancy can have higher body temps, if possible, position them near a window, fan, or doorway.

So, Can you do Pilates During Pregnancy?

Typically around 20 weeks you will want to limit time in supine (on the back), laying on prone (on the stomach, and may be earlier due to client comfort), and begin to modify exercises. Remember the goal is to maintain healthy exercise throughout pregnancy, let’s not cause issues that we don’t need to. My rule of thumb… even if my client can, does she need to. As the abdominal muscles lengthen and other physiologic changes are occurring, the ability to stabilize decreased, and the muscles loose their length-tension relationship. Please reassure your client that just because she doesn’t do a full plank or teaser for 40 weeks of pregnancy doesn’t mean she won’t get her strength back after. There are so many ways to modify!!!

Overall, working with the pregnant population is so rewarding!!! It is fun to be part of their journey and keep women healthy!! Enjoy the class and let us know what else you would like to see!!!

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