Pre- and Post-Natal Pilates

Why Pilates, you ask? Parents.com answered the question in 2009: "Pilates is the perfect low-impact pregnancy workout (provided your doctor gives you the all-clear to exercise), since it boosts flexibility and balance and prevents back pain by strengthening your pelvic floor and core muscles (your abs), which support your spine. Pilates involves doing a series of controlled movements, mostly on an exercise mat, and can be enjoyed throughout your pregnancy because the moves are very easy to modify around your belly or any pain you may have."  *caution below

Adding Pilates to your way of life before pregnancy starts strengthening your body and frame of mind for the baby. Pre-natal workouts keep you in the groove and aware of subtle changes, while strengthening your body for the rigors of labor and mommyhood. Post-natal sessions gently help your body find its new abilities and re-tones your muscles.

A regular Pilates program will help to strengthen tummy muscles safely, reduce back pain, restore the pelvic floor, stabilize your balance, take the strain off your back and pelvis and assist in controlling your breathing.

"I wish I had known about Pilates before the birth of my first child. I got so stressed during labor. I started working with Janis when my daughter was almost a year old. Breathing, centering on my core, learning how to use the muscles all over my body woke me up to the possibility of a second pregnancy. The breathing and pelvic floor work made the early arrival of number 2 so much less stressful. Yes, to Pilates before and after. I can't wait to get back to sessions with Janis."  S, Allen, TX

*Your doctor or midwife should give you the okay before starting or continuing a program. Increased production of the hormone Relaxin loosens your joints when pregnant. This means it will be easier to hurt yourself by putting more pressure on joints. You don’t want to stay on your back too much as the baby’s blood supply can be interrupted. While you want strong abdominal muscles, the growth of the baby will be stretching them and if not careful you can overstrain them, causing them to separate. As for balance, as the belly gets bigger, your balance will be challenged.