Class #5562

Prenatal Pelvic Floor Mat

35 min - Class


Help prepare your body for a positive birthing experience in this Mat class by Claire Sparrow. Using calming imagery, a fully inflated Whole Body Pelvic Health Ball, and a Tennis Ball, this class aims to create a feedback loop that helps you release, mobilize, and make space for your growing baby. Suitable for all trimesters, get ready to lessen the strain and chances of separated abdominal muscles, pelvic girdle pain, and pelvic floor dysfunction.
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball

About This Video


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Hi there, everyone. I'm Claire Sparrow. Today's class is specifically for you to work through during pregnancy. We're gonna be using our softball pretty much fully inflated and also a tennis ball because most of us have something like this knocking around the house that's easy to get hold of you don't need a great deal of space. We're mostly going to be using the wall.

So let's get started. We're gonna come down and sit on the floor. With your back against the wall. And what I'd like you to do is to wiggle your bottom into the wall so you feel the back of your pelvis connecting to the wall, then feel your ribs connecting to the wall and then the back of your head. And for anybody where you find any pelvic pain when you cough your legs, you're just gonna go ahead and straighten your legs out you can sit on a cushion.

You can also do the sitting on a chair with your back against the back of a chair. So there's always something you can do as an alternative. So feeling the back of your pelvis, back of your ribs, and the back of your head. And we'll close our eyes for a moment. And bring our attention and awareness to our breath.

Allowing your breath to slow down and allowing the expansion of your inhale to span the space for your baby. So each inhale is a beautiful opportunity for you to create a little bit more space for your baby and also to create a little more comfort. For yourself by making more space for your growing baby. Bringing awareness now to your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is attached to your pubic bone, your tailbone, and each of your sitting bones either side of your pelvis.

These are highly flexible and dynamic muscles. As you inhale, they're designed to lengthen and unfurl. And as you exhale, they're going to naturally furl back in again, inhaling unfurling, widening the distance between those four points to your pubic bone, tailbone, and each of your sit bones. Exhaling naturally. They're going to recoil back in.

So let's hope it like a wave. Lapping at the shore and then retreating. Lapping at the shore and then retreating with each and every inhale and exhale. So important that during this amazing time of your life, you connect with your whole body and your pelvic floor is one piece of that. So remember those soles are designed to unfurl.

And then slowly letting the light come in through your eyelids Blinking your eyes open. Ready now to move on to some standing. You have your tennis ball. So grab your tennis ball. Take your time, bringing yourself up to standing.

Using your tennis ball on the floor underneath the arch of your feet. So you're gonna start with your feet. More or less parallel with one another, the arch of your foot is on the ball, and you're gonna gently press down and release very gently. It's almost like you're giving the weight of your leg to the ball underneath you. Let's do that twice more into the arch of your foot.

And then once we've done the last one, we're gonna roll forwards and back. So during pregnancy, it's definitely one of the areas of our body that gets a little stiff, a little uncomfortable through our feet and ankles. It helps us a great deal if we can keep mobile and flexible through our feet, but also strong as well. Then roll your ball forward and place your toes and the ball of your foot on using the toes on the front of the ball to twist from side to side keeping your leg quiet. Can you focus on it being from the foot rather than from your leg?

Great. Then we're gonna switch and move the ball under your heel, and you're just gonna rock your heel from side to side. Your toes stay connected to the floor again. As much as possible. You're gonna keep your leg quiet and move from underneath you. Well done. Great job.

You'll take both feet off and just notice for a moment. Feel the feet on the floor. Hopefully, you feel more connection to the floor with the foot you've done and also all the way up that side of your body. It's not just your foot that we're affecting when we do that. Let's go ahead and do the other side. So the first piece is the arch of your foot going on the ball, and that pressed down.

On this side, I want us to think a little bit more about how your body is responding to the press down through your foot. Press down. And can you get a little bit taller. So each time you press down, get a little bit taller. Not much. Just a little bit. The idea is to go tall rather than swaying side to side. So you're going tall in response.

Last one now and then we get to roll it out. So you're rolling forwards and back. Another fun thing to do is you're rolling forwards and back. It's actually moved the ball gradually side to side as you're going forward and back. So you get into the edge where your little toe side of your foot is and then roll all the way across to the big toe side. And it's normal as you're standing here on one leg to feel a little bit of work happening in the standing legs because you're balancing.

It's normal to feel that, so don't worry. It's just an extra opportunity to work out the hip. Toes on the ball now, like we did on the other side, twist just from your face as much as possible just from the front of your foot, like, wringing out a cloth rather than rocking. Great. Then we move it underneath your heel. Same thing.

Heal, twisting side to side nice and quiet through your leg, and you can hold it like I am if it helps you to remember to keep it still or just to guide it to keep it still or quiet as you do that. Great job. Let's rest there. Now picking up your ball carefully, we're gonna do my absolute favorite movement now. This the blue, the bear. So you're gonna take your ball against the outside of your hip, and then you're gonna lean that bit against the wall. So you've trapped the ball between the wall and your bottom.

And then you are really just gonna roll it out role where you feel you need it, really getting into the nooks and crannies of the tension And there's tension there. I know you didn't even know that it was there, but the more you're rolling into it, the more you'll ease that tension out. Sometimes there's like a little sticky knot bit. And if you find that point and it feels good, you can just pause there. Give the weight of your body into it.

And you're in control, not just here, but throughout the class today. You can move as big or as small or as far or as little as you want to. Let's go ahead and go to the other side. So, again, you place the ball between your bottom and the wall and you're circling essentially and then finding any sticky spots. It will feel different from one side to the other. It always surprises us, doesn't it, that there is a difference in our body from one side to the other.

We use both sides differently in life. So it's gonna be different. And also our insides are different, especially yours right now. Your body can feel different just based on how your your baby is lying inside your body at any given moment. So It's a beautiful learning opportunity here for you. You can circle in the other direction, or you can find the place to pause and kinda lean in, find that moment, breathe into it, give a little bit more weight to it, and enjoy.

Okay. Go ahead and take the ball out. Stand for a moment and feel the difference. Hopefully, it feels like you've really some tension. Maybe you feel more onto your feet than you did before. Okay. Great. We're doing this as a preparation at the beginning of your class today, but you could do those little movements that we've done just on their own as a standalone little bit of relief when you've got a case or a feet or swollen ankles, or you've just been kind of on your feet all day and you need to release some of that standing tension that we get through this side of we're done with the ball. We can put that down and grab now your ball.

It needs to be more or less inflated for the movements we're gonna do. You're gonna place it at the back of your ribs. I'm gonna say about brass strap height or thereabouts. Your feet are going to be forward so that you can lean back a little bit and give a little bend to your knees. We're not in squat, but you've just let your knees go. So we're not pulling them back.

We just let them go and support yourself by giving your weight to the ball. Arms free by the side of your body, and we're gonna move from side to side. This is called the thoracic waves. You're moving very gently in almost a figure of 8 or a helix from side to side. Giving your ribs to the ball.

Now it might be depending on what stage of pregnancy you're at that your baby starts to respond to the movements that you're doing, which is absolutely fine and normal, change direct of your figure 8 because you're moving their environment. You're giving them a gentle massage with the movements that you're doing. So it's absolutely fine if they start moving with you. Okay. Well done. We're gonna come to settle in the middle.

Turn your palms forwards and bring your arms back towards the wall a little bit. They're not going to touch the wall, but we're taking them in the direction. So your chest opens and feel even just that can feel like a stretch that you didn't know you needed. And from here, we're gonna add into it by turning your head from side to side. You might find that your head can just about touch the wall, If it can, you can touch the wall, or it can just hover ever so slightly away from the wall.

It's gonna depend on the day It's gonna depend on the week you're in of your pregnancy. This is just such a fabulous movement called chest expansion. To help you to release all of the tension through the top of your neck and chest and shoulders. I like to do it palms forwards, stretching them out like starfish so that it helps to open out and release even more. This will be our last one. Bring it to the center, and then we're gonna move our ball up just to touch. So it's more like between your shoulder blades.

Then float your arms out in front of you. So then about shoulder height and the balls between your shoulder blades. Little bend in your knees. Let's reach forward so your shoulder blades stretch and spread away from each other. Keeping your arms straight, bring your shoulder blades back again, and then forwards, and then back. So you get a little bit more movement and more of a massage because of the feedback, that the ball gives you, then you would do if you were just on the wall flat.

Last one and then float your arms up. Same thing. Reach up. Shoulder blades come to your ears and then down. So we're moving our shoulder blades, but just in the other direction up and down. One last time, up, and then down and then clasp your hands on the back of your head.

So remember your knees are still a little bit. Ben, you're looking forwards and then brewing your elbows forward. This is called the butterfly. So think of your elbows, your arms like butterfly wings, And they're reaching forward and around and then reaching out and back. We're gonna use our breath pattern here. So we're gonna inhale when your arms come back, and you're gonna exhale as your arms come forwards.

And, again, inhale back, exhale forwards. We're gonna allow this movement to grow by lifting your check in your gaze up as you inhale, taking it down as you exhale in an up that sit down and breathing out. Once more, lift your gaze, lift your chest. Lower your gaze. Lower your chest and then back to the center.

Release your hands. Hopefully, your shoulders and your upper back feel really nice and released. We're gonna do some arm marks now. So float your arms up, float your arms down. We're gonna exhale your arms up, inhale your arms down just for a couple to see how that feels in your body. Exhale up.

Inhale down. Exhale up. Inhale down. Now what we're gonna do is inhale. So pause. Inhale.

And then exhale down. Inhale. Feel your revs, expanding and opening in all directions to help your arms go up. The side of your body is lengthening up with your little finger. So important during pregnancy that we do movements to gently tease out through our body. So we're not forcing a stretch. We're just teasing it out. Let's go ahead and scissor our arms now.

So you got one up, one down. And you might even find as you do this movement that your ribs start doing the side to side motion a bit like the figure of 8 we were doing with your thoracic wave. So be free in your body as you're sizzling your arms. Last two. And rest there. We're gonna go ahead and move our ball all the way down to your sacrum. Again, really important, we do have a little bend.

You might need your feet to be further forward. So, again, you're giving your weight to the ball. Hands on your hips. Let's go ahead and bring our attention and awareness to our sacrum. On our tailbone. You're going to be diving your tailbone down and underneath the ball.

And then diving it down and forward through your legs. So it goes diving down and underneath the ball, and then down and forwards between your legs. And you're really being very precise about where you're moving from, we could do this movement and really be doing a lot of the the kind of initiation from your lower back. That's not where I want you to initiate from. I want you to start really discovering your pelvis and your pelvic floor here.

Rather than moving from your lower back where you might already have quite a lot of movement. You might feel like you're a bit achy there from pregnancy. This is to help to counteract that. Last two little pelvic tilts now, and then find the middle point. Now this is one of my favorite movements that we're going to do now. It's called the pelvic floor clock. So we've done I've taught you before the pelvic clock. This is the pelvic floor clock. So you're gonna think about your tailbone, which is pointing straight down, and you're going to draw a clock on the floor underneath you with your tailbone.

So this is where the difference is. You're focusing on your hail bone moving around towards your sit bone towards your pubic bone towards your other sit bone and then behind you. So you're circling around. I particularly like the image of a magnet because magnets attract and repel So your pubic bones attracting your tailbone and then repelling it, attracting it, and then repelling it away. This is really wakening up your pelvic floor.

It's wakening up your mind body connection to your pelvic floor. Go ahead and go the other way around your pelvic floor clock. And sometimes what happens is we can feel our glutes and other muscles kicking in and trying to do the work, it's fine. Ignore it. It's a bit like meditation. You know, when you meditate, you just allow the thought to come in and then wave them goodbye.

It's the same with the overactivation of things like your glutes. Okay. They're gonna do it. And then you just go, okay. Stop now. And focus back in on your pelvic floor. Anyway, that's great.

We're gonna rest there. I want you to stand up just for a moment and feel so far How does your body feel? How does your pelvic floor feel? Maybe it's more expansive or more awake. Maybe you just Feel it more than you did before. Bring the ball into the small of your back. So into that natural curve of your back, and lean against it again.

We're gonna do pelvic floor squats. So almost using the name squats is a little deceiving because it's not a big squat that we're doing. It's just a tiny, tiny little knee bend. Have your hands on your hips? And you're gonna use your breath to inhale, release your knees, and then exhale, press into the arch of your foot to rise at In how you go down, exhale, press into the arches of your feet to come back up. Really important that we're coupling the breath with the movement with this one today because I want you to promote the widening of your pelvic floor and then the narrowing, widening a narrowing.

Let's change the position of your feet. So turning your toes out a little bit from where they are and you're gonna do the same thing. Release your knees out and then find the arches of your feet to come back up. Release so that inregis if your knees reach away, and then you scoot back in. One last time here.

Tiny little bend. And then back up tiny little bend and then back up. Bring it so that your toes are pointing just a smidgen inwards. We're not bringing it all the way in, just a smidgen off parallel, and we're gonna do the same thing. You release your knees, breathing in, breathe out arches of your feet to come up, breathing in to go down, press into the art to severe feet to come up.

We're wakening up the natural rhythm of your pelvic floor with your breath, with this most functional movement. One more time. Okay. Let's go ahead and put the ball down for a moment. We're gonna side bend in our body now, and we're gonna do that without the ball.

Just using the wall. Really, really important to reiterate again that during pregnancy, we want to gently tease out and make space for your growing baby so that you're comfortable and you're reducing the chance of any specific sorts of injuries that happened during pregnancy from sudden growth. So can we help ourselves along the way by teasing it out? So you're going to have your feet slightly apart, hand on the wall that's closest to the wall, and then push yourself away. As you push away, float your arm up inside bend and then slowly come back up and lean your whole entire body into the wall, look down. So this is called Cleopatra You're reaching up and over side bending, and you're not only side bending your body, you're side bending at your legs, your knees, your ankles, and then coming all the way over the other way up and over.

And then gently back down. We'll do this one more time. Push yourself away. Walk across your feet. Side bend your body and side bend the other way.

That feels so good. Okay. Let's go with the other side. So your feet are slightly apart. Your hand is in line with your shoulder. Go ahead and push yourself away, lean your whole body, push as far as you can, and then slowly come lean into the wall.

Push away. Roll across your feet. So again, like we did at the beginning, we were working through your feet. We were mobilizing. This is really a great exercise. The rolling a cross your feet.

Finding the side of your feet will help with balance during your pregnancy. Which is really important because we are changing our center of gravity whilst pregnant This is the last one here to do. And then we're gonna face the wall for some push ups. I know. You want to leave class now, but you've got this. This is so important because when we have babies, they start to quite light and they get heavier almost by the minute.

So we do need to be strong in our upper body. Hands are going to be opposite your shoulders and about shoulder height with a little bend in your knees, and then just go ahead and bend your elbows down and then push away. Bander elbows down and then push away. You're gonna keep your head connected to your spine. So sometimes we start to bring our head forwards.

Go ahead and keep it back. So it's your forehead coming towards the wall. Rather than the top of your head. Now it's really also important throughout our life, not just in pregnancy that our pelvic floor is very responsive to the sort of activities that we need it for. So that might just be something as simple as walking a bit quicker or running or even things like coughing and sneezing.

So we're gonna do a little movement called Jumping, that's going to help your body, not just your pelvic floor, lots of other things as well, but in this case, we're thinking more about our pelvic floor. To be responsive. So as you're jumping, your pelvic floor has got to know what to do. So this is just a little bit of basic jumping on the wall. It's a more dynamic push up Your knees stay slightly, Ben, you're gonna keep breathing all the time. You can be really adventurous and do one. Your hand just comes across your body, do one at a time.

The further you are away from the wall, the more of your own and baby's body weight is going to be coming into your upper body. So you could go a little bit closer and make it a little gentler, or you could go a little bit further away. To make it a little more vigorous. This is gonna be our last two. Last one. On rest there. We're gonna grab our ball again.

So grabbing your ball, and we're gonna face the wall with the ball between your chest and the wall. Very similar to when we were facing away from the wall. You do need to have a little bend in your knees. So we come into that little knee bend. You've got your hands either side of the ball about shoulder height, shoulder width, and we're gonna do baby looks.

So your right hand's gonna pull the wall down, and you're gonna stretch your legs and look over your shoulder, and then bend your legs and come to the center. Then we do left hand. It's like it's pooling like a suction cup on the wall. Stretch. And then over.

Each time you look over, you're gently teasing out seeing if you can go a little bit further. Be aware that the further on you get in your pregnancy, the closer your bump will be to the wall. And that's actually a very good measure and guide for you. If it is pushing into the wall and you're resting on it, you might need to just pull gently away and lengthen a little bit more. Sorry to spoil your fun, but you'll thank me later.

Okay. Last one looking over your shoulder, and then we're gonna go ahead and do a little swollen in the middle. So a little bend in your knees like before. Roll the ball with your chest up the wall and then down the wall. Bending your knees and then stretching stretching, stretching up. We're gonna do one more. So you send your feet down and the ball up and the front of your body is lengthening gently.

Okay. We're on the home straight now. Face away from the the wall with the ball and the small of your back again. Hands on your hips, feet about shoulder width apart. We did our pelvic floor squats, these are now more like regular squats because you're gonna go a bit further. You're gonna bend your knees and go down press through the arches of your feet to come up.

You're giving some body weight to the ball behind you and you press down to come up. Much like what we did at the beginning, you let your tailbone travel under the ball a little bit as you go down. Now let's turn your feet out a wee bit. It's not a massive turnout, just a little bit. And you're gonna send your knees away from each other so they reach away from the inner seam of your legs.

And then your feet pull in and up, we go down and out. And then it's almost like a suction cut cooling in and up with your feet. And again, we're using the inhale down and the exhale up. That's just promoting the natural relationship between your breathing diaphragm and your pelvic diaphragm. What we call our pelvic floor.

Let's do once more in this position. And then the last one is just a tiny, tiny bit turned in just like we did before. So your knees are coming in a little bit. This is gonna allow the back part of your pelvic floor to open out a lot more as you go down in the squat. Super important for an active dynamic birth experience and to help you to birth your baby.

Knowing that you can communicate to your pelvic floor and that you know that those muscles are designed to lengthen and pay out for that experience. And also just for this experience of squatting, okay, coming all the way up We're gonna finish our session today lying down on your side with a moment of relaxation. Please take your ball with you because when you lie on your side, it's important that you prop your bump up, and we're gonna use the ball to do that. This is gonna help to prevent any straining or pull that can cause separation of your abdominal muscles. So carefully bringing yourself down onto the mat, you're going to use the ball, like I said, as a little cushion for your bump use your arm as a cushion for your head or a cushion cushion for your head will also do. The ball is there just holding up your bump. It's actually quite a nice feeling to to have your bump held up in this way.

If you need to have a pillow or cushion between your thighs, please do so, but I would also recommend one under your shins as well. So they're both supported. Closing your eyes here, taking a moment to bring quiet awareness to your breath allowing your breath to be gentle. Allowing your body to yield to the support of the floor the support of the ball, and the support of your breath. Taking stock of any excess or unnecessary tension in your body And each time you breathe in, gather a little bits of that unnecessary tension.

And then as you breathe, I release it away. Breathe in gathering the tension. Breathing out, releasing it away. What are you holding on to in your mind or body? Or both.

That's no longer serving you. That you can exhale away. I know that you always have your breath. In times of stress, worry, fear. You can bring your mind's eye back to your breath.

Take back control. Change your state in an instant. Through the use of your breath. Last few moments here. Appreciating the time that you've given yourself and your baby today.

To prepare your mind and body. And then slowly letting the light come in through your eyelids, blinking your eyes open. Slowly slowly pushing yourself up to sitting. Taking a moment in your seated position to check-in with yourself. How you're feeling now in mind and body and breath.

Thank you so much for joining me in class today. I hope you found it useful, and I will see you soon.


1 person likes this.
Another fabulous class, thank you Claire- you are a jewel! This class will be wonderful for those with or without “baby bumps.”
Claire S
Thank you,   Beverly L agreed, I absolutely love this for so many women not just the pregnant population.  So happy to hear you are enjoying the class. Claire x

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