A couple years ago I was pregnant with my son, Radley. Overall, I had a pretty great pregnancy. I thought I’d have to eventually slow down, but I was able to keep up with my day-to-day activities, teaching Pilates, and regular workouts.
Staying active during my pregnancy was important to me; it is part of who I am, what makes me tick. It was time to let the changes happening in my body transition with the most ease, support and strength that I could. My workouts weren’t just about me anymore. Now I was working out to support a developing baby. I was maintaining physical endurance so I could remain strong throughout my pregnancy and outlast the longest of labours. Staying active also helped by decreasing new aches and pains in my body, maintaining digestion, and regulating sleep patterns.
Although I did get to “work out” while I taught Pilates and fitness classes, the benefits from attending my Prenatal Pilates class were the ones I enjoyed the most. There were three things that really stood out to me and made the difference to keep me coming back.
My pregnant body needed to move differently
The further along in my pregnancy I got, the more rounded forward my upper body became. My a-cups had grown to d-cups and were weighing me down. My belly was shifting my center of gravity challenging my balance and putting pressure on my low back.
Every Prenatal Pilates class was designed to move and support the pregnant body. It gave me exactly what I needed. Each class my shoulders opened up with large, fluid upper body movements. I gained strength and support in my lower body so I could comfortably carry on my day without aches and pains. Even the carpal tunnel in my wrists seemed to go away. I often didn’t even realize this going into class, but once I was done I stood straighter, stronger and taller. It was amazing how such simple movements could feel so good and make such a huge difference.
Decrease stress and connect with myself
Taking the time out of my busy schedule to focus on myself was the best gift I gave myself. It was a HUGE de-stressor. I was so busy working, going to doctors’ appointments, and preparing my home for the baby. My Prenatal Pilates was time for me to get away from it all and just be in my body.
Being in Prenatal Pilates was an opportunity for me to connect with my pregnancy. It was a chance to actualize that I wasn’t just moving for myself anymore. Everything I did was influencing my baby as well. My weekly class gave me the chance to embrace this.
Spending time with others
Being around other pregnant women just like me was more important than I’d imagined. In the Prenatal Pilates class, everyone was at a slightly different stage of pregnancy, but seemed comfortable and confident. They were committed to themselves and their babies.
Meeting other moms to be, building friendships and sharing experiences as we went on this crazy prenatal ride together. One day, I remember seeing a woman in class quite far along in her pregnancy, she may have been due that week. She was pregnant with twins and just kept moving with strength, grace, and ease. What inspiration!
My message to moms: Just do it!
Whether you choose Prenatal Pilates or some other form of movement, just do it. Keep moving, take time for yourself and get as strong as you can before you have your baby!
One word of caution, if you’ve never worked out before, when you’re pregnant is not the time to start an intense boot camp or fitness regime. For most women, it’s fine to continue with physical activities done before pregnancy (within reason). Prenatal Pilates is a great option for everyone, because it’s strategically designed to build strength and support for the pregnant body in a safe, effective way.
If you’re a Pilates or movement teacher who would like to learn more about working with Pre & Postnatal clients check out the Movement and Exercise for Pregnancy workshop on Mar 5, 2016.