New life is a blessing beyond all measure. And it is a tremendous amount of work!
While we do not recommend beginning a Pilates practice when you are pregnant, Pilates can be key in supporting a healthy pregnancy for anybody who wishes to continue once they become pregnant. And Pilates can offer a lot of support once your baby arrives. Since the center of the body is the main site of childbearing activities, it follows that Pilates can help the center to regroup once the big push has occurred.
With new babies and new moms alike, special care and attention is needed. It is important to use your body optimally during a Pilates workout — This is especially true for new moms. Each pregnancy is different, and each mother is different. Aside from our individual experiences, pregnancy, labor, birth, and caring for a new baby are all challenging labors of love.
It is not unreasonable to expect that a new mom's abdomen will undergo a significant series of changes in the process of returning to a pre-childbearing state. The many layers of musculature must realign correctly. This takes time and it is important to be very careful with exercise so as not to inhibit the process.
Careful and correct engagement of the core muscles is key to a proper Pilates workout, so the needs of the new mother are naturally addressed by Pilates.
Reintegrating the limbs into the body is another area that Pilates addresses beautifully. While it is reasonable to assume that the legs will relate to the body differently with the tremendous amount of pressure on the pelvis and nerves connecting down the legs, it also follows that the arms will undergo a similar detachment from the body during pregnancy and therefore need to be reintegrated afterwards.
Add to that the common strains of holding and feeding, and the upper body is in need of a fair amount of TLC. The careful and correct development of a well ordered relationship between the limbs and the core of the body is integral to the Pilates workout. Indeed the key to many of the exercises is proper coordination of the limbs with respect to the core.
Again, Pilates addresses the specific needs of the new mother naturally.
FYI: East Bay Pilates is a baby and toddler friendly studio.