Tutorial #4797

Prenatal Essential Tips

4 min - Tutorial


Join Wendy Foster as she talks you through some Pilates fundamental principles for you to focus on during all stages of your pregnancy. Wendy speaks to the importance of using your breath, maintaining alignment, focusing on stability, as well as, connecting to your baby with every move you make. These are the principles that Wendy holds throughout her series Mamalates For All Trimesters.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

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Dec 08, 2021
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Hello, I'm Wendy, and I'm here with Anne. And today we are going to talk about some Pilates, fundamental principles that you're going to want to take into consideration when you're doing your Pilates exercises during pregnancy, postpartum, or even just moving throughout your everyday life. So the first thing you're going to want to think about when you are pregnant is how you're breathing. You want to continue that Pilates breath by breathing into the ribs, inhaling into the sides, and exhaling through the mouth, that posterior lateral rib cage breathing, that can really help to expand the rib cage, and stretch all those intercostal muscles that can get really tight during pregnancy to make space for baby. And you might need to adjust your breathing as your body shifts and changes during pregnancy.

The other principle you're going to want to take into consideration is your overall alignment. So as your sitting, or as you're standing, or as you're moving, thinking about having your ear right in line with your shoulder, your shoulder right in line with your rib cage, and your ribs stacked on top of your hips, so that as you're moving throughout your everyday life during pregnancy, or again, postpartum, as you're picking up your baby, or toys, and things like that, you're thinking of keeping that ideal alignment that can really help to eliminate back pain, hip pain, and shoulder pain. The other principle you want to take into consideration is modifying. So modifying your everyday moves as you walk around the house, get in and out of a car, but also modifying how you're doing your Pilates exercises. You really want to think more about hinging, keeping your spine in a straight line, exhaling as you come up, instead of doing so much forward flexion, and rounding forward.

The hinging can help prevent that abdominal separation that sometimes happens during pregnancy and postpartum. So think about that as you're practicing Pilates. The next principle you want to take into consideration is just connecting. So you can put your hands on your belly, and as you exhale, and engage those abdominals in, you want to think of connecting with your baby through your breath, but also connecting with your pelvic floor and your core with every move that you make. Another principle you want to consider is stability.

It's so important to move with stability while you're moving through your life, but also while you're exercising and working out. The goal during pregnancy isn't to try and touch your toes, or increase your flexibility. You have a lot of relaxin flowing through your body, the hormone that's gonna help expand your pelvis, and help baby move through your body. The goal is really to stay stable, and strong, and connected to your core. And then the next principle you want to think about is mobility.

So Anne, why don't you come onto all fours? It's so important to stay mobile through your entire spine and body during your pregnancy. So that as she does her cat cow, as she exhales, and rounds her back, she's encouraging her spine to stay mobile during pregnancy, and then inhaling, continuing to move through the spine, through the hips, and even through the shoulders, sending breadth to her joints, lubricating up the joints with her breath, and this will help prevent all kinds of discomfort during pregnancy and postpartum. All right, so why don't you go ahead, and come back to sitting. I hope you found these tips helpful, and if you have any questions, you can go ahead and leave them in the chat, and I'd be happy to get back with you.

Prenatal Pilates: Mat Pilates for All Trimesters


thank you
Hi Wendy - thanks very much for this useful tutorial.  Can I ask with regards to cat / cow and your point earlier about avoiding spine flexion to avoid abdominal separation - is cat still ok to do? Best, G.
Wendy, thank you for all your recommendations! I would ask you is there movements that could be completely forbitten for pregnant women? Movements that could be dangerous in that period? 
Hello Dimitrina- Thank you for watching my class. I would ask your doctor especially concerning inversions or deep squats- each country seems to have different guidelines regarding diet, exercise, position,etc. But, you will NOT want to do any exercise that causes discomfort to mom to be or any exercises on your stomach or on your back for extended periods of time.  Here is a recent study from the US. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/newsroom/news/092019-pregnancy-sleep-position I hope that helps:)
Wendy, thank you so much! 

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