Pilates and Corrective Exercise for Pre-/Postnatal Mamas

Your baby is important, but don't forget to take care of YOU!

Your body changes a lot during pregnancy!  As your baby grows and your hormones change, your tissues and ligaments stretch and are under a unique kind of strain. Your posture also changes as your abdomen and spinal curves adapt to counter the baby's weight. Your breathing even changes! Pilates and corrective exercise can help you stay strong and focused throughout your pregnancy with safe and gentle exercises addressing posture changes, breathing patterns, core strength and stability, flexibility, balance, and mind-body awareness. When delivery time comes, your body will be ready for the trials of labor. Prenatal Pilates and corrective exercise can also help you recover faster in the postpartum phase, helping you return to the activities you love with less pain and lower risk of injury.

Once you've delivered and been cleared by your doctor or midwife to return to physical activity, Mindful Pilates and Wellness will help your body heal and regain strength in a safe way. As a Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist, Ashley will pay special attention to these three areas: posture/alignment, breathing, and muscle function/firing patterns. We will work together through a customized program, emphasizing training breathing patterns and muscle groups in isolation and progressing to more functional, whole body movement patterns.

Consider this: If your pelvic floor is not doing its job, many exercises you choose to do, such as plyometrics and running,  or even lifting a heavy carseat or squatting to change a diaper, will put increased pressure in your pelvic area. This can lead to bladder and/or bowel dysfunction. But quite often, KEGEL’S MAKE THIS WORSE! Moving beyond Kegel’s, exercises at Mindful Pilates and Wellness will strengthen your pelvic floor musculature functionally to allow you to return to activity safely. But there’s more to it! We will work to strengthen your abdominal wall, back, and hip musculature ensuring that you have adequate core, pelvic, and hip strength and proper muscle firing patterns to set you up for success in your daily activities and exercise routines.

Even though you have delivered your baby, hormone changes continue, particularly if you are breast-feeding.  These changes can lead to increased ligament laxity and joint instability. Carpal tunnel and sacral-iliac joint (SIJ) dysfunction and pain are particularly common for pre/postnatal mothers. Mindful Pilates and Wellness will train your body in safe movement patterns with a focus on proper alignment, joint stability, strengthening muscles on both sides of the joint, and reducing pain to minimize any risk of injury.

During the first few years following the arrival of your little one, your body is continually adapting to keep up with the demands of your growing child. As your baby grows, holding him or her puts increased wear and tear on your joints and muscles. Your body will adapt to meet these demands, but pain and injury can occur long after delivery. Daily activities like picking up your toddler, twisting while carrying groceries, getting your child out of a car seat, and vacuuming with a child on your hip put strain on loose ligaments and lead to joint instability and injury. Pilates and corrective exercise address these changing demands with a focus on neutral spine, body awareness, and healthy movement patterns when caring for your child. With Mindful Pilates and Wellness, the development of muscle memory for healthier muscle firing patterns will allow you to meet the demands of your caregiving tasks and set you up for success when you decide to tackle challenging plyometric activities such as running, CrossFit, HIIT, and tennis.  By facing your concerns head on, we can work together to help you perform in a safe, efficient way, with less risk of later onset dysfunction or recurrence of dysfunction, pain, or injury.