Pre and Postnatal Pilates
Leah Stewart
Workshop 794

Watch this Workshop
Denee,

I am so happy that you enjoyed the workshop! What an exciting and wonderful opportunity for you to work with your daughter-in-law during this great time in her life. Yes, you will learn a ton as you explore prenatal exercises with her, plus I'm sure that you will get some great, honest feedback from her as well

You ask a great question about the possibility of getting overheated, as this an be a concern for pregnant women during exercise. You're right to keep the environment, air temperature, air flow and circulation, etc at a comfortable level to prevent overheating, exhaustion, etc that can lead to worrisome outcomes like dehydration, dizziness and nausea. I'm not a big fan of too much air conditioning while exercising, but in the desert you may not have much of an option

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Encourage your daughter-in-law to drink plenty of water before, during and after the session. Take it nice and slow and give her some rest and more relaxing exercises in between the more demanding ones - this may help, especially as she nears the end of her pregnancy when it'll be hottest where you live. You may also want to schedule your sessions in the early morning or evening, before and after the heat of the day. I hope that these tips help a bit, I'm sure you may have thought of many of them already.

Let me know if you have anymore questions.

Take care,

Leah
Leah,
Thank you for the wonderful workshop! It inspired me to be more creative in designing class programs and cleared so many doubts! I have just one more question to ask you. Is it possible for a woman, who is 2 years postpartum, to get rid of her 2 fingertips width diastasis recti? Should she stick to the exercises that do not involve traditional chest lifts and straight legs lowering? It doesn't affect her in any way, her abdominals are strong so it is just about the aesthetic aspect. What are your thoughts on this?
Barbara
Barbara,

You are very, very welcome! Creativity is so fun and key to developing effective and fun prenatal Pilates programming.

Your question is a tricking one, and unfortunately, I cannot provide you with a definitive answer. Naturally, the goal is to completely close the diastasis, but that is not always possible. It depends on many, many factors; age, number of births, genetics, exercise history, etc.

The thing is, women can have a diastasis and still have very well-functioning abdominals and core control. It's not so much about completely closing the gap, it is more about teaching women how to properly perform traditional abdominal exercises correctly with good engagement and control, so that they can function correctly with out pain and of course, not make the diastasis larger. Does that make sense?

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For your client, if she is strong and works with quality and control, you may notice when she performs flexion with proper engagement and form, her diastasis may magically "disappears" and then when you have her perform a chest lift without such control, the diastasis is very present. This tells us that even though the gap may never fully close, a woman can learn to use her core muscles in such a way that she can move safely through those ranges of motion, without compromise.

So, again yes and no depending on many things. But it's more important that a woman knows how to use the muscles properly so that she has the support she needs in her body.

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If your client can move through ranges of motion like traditional chest lifts and straight legs lowering without compensation or losing control, she can probably perform those exercises safely and effectively. That decision ultimately has to be yours, as the Pilates professional.

I hope that my answer helps you out a bit, Barbara. Sorry that it is not a straight-forward answer, as working with humans is never straight-forward.

Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Leah
Leah, I love this workshop! Thank you, so very much, for this information. One of my favorite things about this workshop is the way you empowered me to create my own exercises for my clients. I feel confident to do this because you taught what is happening to the abdominal muscles before and after delivery. I teach the preparing for childbirth class at the hospital near me and I am planning on incorporating safe exercises in my class because of your workshop. I just started teaching a prenatal class at a pilates studio nearby, too. I am so pumped after learning from you!
I appreciate your spirit - you are so delightful and beautiful!
Many thanks!
Congratulations, too, on having such a beautiful son!
monica
Monica,

Thank you for your kind words. I am so happy that this workshop helped you and empowered you - that was my goal. I know that you'll do great work with the women that you work with. All the best to you!

Leah
Hi Leah,
I have a question for you. I am working with a client in her 3rd trimester and when she does abdominal work in the half roll back position, her abdominals form a ridge - or peak. Does this mean she is pressing out with her abs instead of pulling in? Or, might she have been leaning back too far?
Thank you!
Smiles and a happy day to you, Leah!
Monica
Monica,

This means that your client has a diastasis recti. And because she is in her 3rd trimester and because the diastasis is present, her abdominals are so compromised that she is unable to do the seated roll back exercises with adequate control as she does not have the support in place at this point. In this case, allowing her to continue doing these exercises would not be advantageous, and I would recommend that you omit them for now. The last thing we want is for her diastasis to get any larger.

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