Pre and Postnatal Pilates
Leah Stewart
Workshop 794

Watch this Workshop
Or you could greatly reduce the range of motion by just having her focus on the pelvic tilt portion and not allowing her to roll back into the lowered position. This will continue to engage her pelvic floor, but not take her into the range of motion where her abdominal are unable to support the position. Does that make sense? Seated roll backs in the 3rd trimester should be fairly conservative, especially in this case. I hope that this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Hi Leah,
This makes perfect sense, thank you for the clarification!
I just watched (and THOROUGHLY enjoyed) your workshop, so I will be sure to incorporate other abdominally supportive exercises.
Thanks for being such a great resource!
Hi Leah,
I have a question concerning women in their first trimester, who are very fit and have practiced pilates before getting pregnant. Can they follow the same routine for the first weeks of their pregnancy or are there any exercises that should be avoided right from the start?
All the best!

My apologies for missing your question. Unfortunately, I cannot give you a definitive yes or no answer here. And in addition, you will most likely get varying answers and opinions regarding your question; some will say to continue as normal during the first trimester and others will say to make modifications from the get go.

My opinion lies somewhere in the middle. Generally, women are told to continue their practice as normal during the first trimester or until they begin to show (which for some women is much sooner then others).

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....I believe it greatly depends on the woman's history (history of miscarriages, other health history, etc.), how she feels during her 1st trimester (morning sickness, fatigue, anxiety, energy level, etc) and finally how her body is responding to the pregnancy (is she comfortable, tightness, laxity, etc). All of these factors will determine your exercise choices for her.

Some women feel great continuing with normal prenatal Pilates no nos like traditional abdominal work (until they are showing), inversions like short spine, back extension (again until they get a little bump), balance exercises, etc. Some women do not.

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.....I personally have done both - continued with their regular practice during the 1st trimester and made the necessary modifications early. It's a great idea to interview your client's doctor or midwife and to talk to your client about her past and how she is feeling and what she feels comfortable with - it's all so individual!

There's nothing wrong with making modifications during the 1st trimester as they too are very effective and helpful in maintaining strength and control in the woman's body.

Again, I cannot say yes or no here because the truth is the answer may be different for each client. I hope that this helps a bit.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

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This was awesome and I am so grateful for all of the great information! As an English-speaker living in a German-speaking county, it has been so challenging to find local resources for learning pre/post-natal Pilates in English, so this was just what I was looking for.
Hi Leah!

Is it possible to do the diastasis recti test with someone who is already prenant (3rd trimester) and actually be able to tell anything?

Hi Shannon,

By the time the 3rd trimester rolls around, you should be able to tell if a woman has a significant diastasis recti simply by watching her when she moves. By this point the abdominal muscles (the rectus abdominus in particular) are displaced and the linea alba has widened to accommodate the large uterus. Some women will have a larger spreading if you will of the linea alba, which will determine the degree of the diastasis recti.

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Also, if a woman has a significant diastasis (larger than two finger tips) and does not have the adequate muscular and movement mechanics and control to support the abdominal wall during exercises in the 3rd trimester, you will see the little ridge that pops up in the center of the abdomen - this is a signal that the integrity of movement is compromised, the abdominal support is not intact and that a diastasis may be present. If this is the case, further modifications to the exercises need to be made so that the diastasis is not made worse.

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