Your Body after Birth
I remember after birth, and I am not afraid or embarrassed to say that I had a fragile pelvic floor. Yes, I leaked when I laughed, leaked when I coughed and leaked when I sneezed! It became a joke amongst friends, that’s me forever in Tena pads!
But listen and here’s the important bit, your body WILL IMPROVE, so if you are feeling like it will never be the same, I promise it will get better. But you need to make sure you do it safely and not jump back into very active exercise too quickly like running, high impact or lifting heavy weights or bags.
Your core takes a massive hit when pregnant as your pelvic floor, back and stomach have to adjust to carrying the extra weight. Your stomach muscles often separate called ‘diastasis recti’ to allow the bump to grow.
Also, your body is not as stable or secure while pregnant as the hormone relaxin kicks in and relaxes the ligaments and pelvis and softens the cervix, ready for your baby. This all puts extra pressure on our muscles to work harder.
So, what is the benefit of doing Postnatal Pilates after birth?
Postnatal and Reformer Pilates is perfect after birth as it strengthens that all-important abdominal basket, which consists of the abdominal muscles, the back muscles and the pelvic floor.
We are all different, and we will all have our own issues and concerns after birth. Some will want to lose weight or strengthen the stomach after a C-section. Some may be concerned about their stomach muscles and would like safe exercises to do this. Some may have discovered a prolapse after birth and have concerns on how to manage it, or what exercises you can do safely and how to improve it.
The benefits of doing Pilates is that it’s perfect for all these issues as it focuses on the following areas:
Strengthens the Pelvic floor
Like myself, I was given some exercises after birth with very little guidance, and sometimes these can do more harm than good. In a one to one session the Pilates teacher will give your specific exercises to restore your pelvic floor and strengthen your core muscles to improve your stability and strength. If you have suffered from a prolapse or incontinence the exercises will start to strengthen the muscles surrounding this.
Stomach Muscle separation
Pilates concentrate on the deep abdominal muscles and the transverse abdominal muscles. By strengthening these muscles, it can allow for Diastasis Recti to improve and Martine (Pilates Instructor) will give your individual exercises and show you the correct way to strengthen your muscle. This will also have a positive effect on your back and avoid you getting backache and help improve your posture.
When can I start exercising after birth?
It is advised that new mums do not exercise at all till at least 6 weeks after birth for natural delivery and 12 weeks if you a have had a C section. You need to give your body a chance to rest and heal. After this, we can start to help you strengthen and restore your core muscles.
What happens during a 1 to 1 session
During the session, initially, we will have a 15-minute consultation to discuss your birth and the key areas you would like to focus on in the session.
We will then asses your muscle strength and any areas we feel would be beneficial to work on.
You will then run through various Pilates exercises using the reformer and mat works and start a tailored exercise plan.
One of the benefits of the one to one session is the exercises can be much more tailored to your needs even to the point where the teacher can give you the number of repetitions that would be ideal for yourself.
At the clinic we also offer Duet Postnatal Training sessions this allows for you to train alongside another mum or a friend. Here you can take advantage of the reduced price but also give you a chance to motivate each other and train together.
Meet our Women’s health Pilates instructor
Martine is currently our Women’s health Pilates teacher, and she has experience with pregnancy Pilates and pre and postnatal care and has been treating mums since year 2000. Martine is also a mum too so has first-hand experience in women’s health issues after birth. In addition, she has experience working with spine and disc pathologies, scoliosis and sacroiliac dysfunction, knee, ankle and shoulder rehabilitation pre and postoperative and individuals with physical disabilities. Through this, she assists in re-educating, retraining and reiterating more economical solutions for you and your bodies to increase strength and keep the potential for injury and dysfunction to a minimum.
What Martine says..
“What I love about working with people, is finding a unique approach to each individual and assisting their physical health and unlocking their highest potential.”
The Postnatal Pilates sessions are currently available every Friday by appointment only. subject to enquiry and availability.
A consultation is required beforehand so Martine can assess your fitness levels and discuss any concerns or area you want to focus on.
To find out more contact the clinic on 0208 6621155 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by: Micala Sansom