By Daniela Escobar
Right after I was certified in Pilates, one of the first continuing education workshops I took was about how to teach pregnant women. I was terrified of the idea of being a new teacher, which is hard as it is, AND having to teach a pregnant client. One could ask, why? Shouldn’t a client keep the same workout she did prior to getting pregnant? Like when you run, don’t you just keep running?
For the most part I would say yes, especially because Pilates is considered to be an extremely safe form of exercising during those 9 months of pregnancy. However, because LOTS of changes happen to the body when a woman carries a baby, you as an instructor need to know you have to slightly adjust things as the belly grows or completely leave certain exercises out to be able to accommodate these transformations.
In addition, you have to take into consideration that there are also conditions and discomforts that could appear along the way and again, you should know what to do in that case. What if your client has diastasis recti or pubic pain? Should she stop Pilates even if her doctor said she could keep her exercise routine? Not at all, you just have to know what to do and most importantly what to avoid. After all, Joseph Pilates gave us so many exercises! My pregnancy was very healthy and I continued my Pilates workouts all the way to the end. Most of my clients did too. In fact, one of them wrote a testimonial saying “continuing to do Pilates (a modified version, of course) before, during and after pregnancy, led me to keep up my strength and feel healthy during this process. I strongly believe that it helped in my process to support my body as it went through these transformations and, as a bonus, return back to my slim and strong shape”. Thanks Val!
Below, you will find a short video we filmed a few years ago of one of my client’s workouts when she was about 8 months pregnant. This will give you an idea of what exercises will be safe to do, and how some exercises need adjustments according to her body.
One thing I can guarantee, Pilates will keep your clients in shape and they will get back in shape much faster postpartum. They will have less low back pain, if any. It will work their alignment like nothing else because postural changes affect every pregnant woman.
So if you are a teacher or a client who wants to become pregnant and is curious about all those changes, or simply is terrified like I was before I taught my first pregnant client, I recommend taking a Pregnancy workshop. Knowledge is key, fear is unwarranted. Learn about physiological changes associated with pregnancy, common maternal conditions and discomforts, and how to create an effective Pilates program that will accommodate your client’s needs.