Pregnancy Resources for Pilates Instructors
I found out I was pregnant with my first child one week before I began my Pilates Teacher Training Program. After consulting with my doctor and instructor, I decided that I would continue with the program while at the same time researching the effects of Pilates during pregnancy. I learned all about diastasis recti (it can’t be prevented, but it can be minimized), kegals and splinting. Some Pilates Instructors treated me like a porcelain doll, too fragile to be moved, and others adjusted my lessons so that we did every possible variety of arm and leg exercises possible without abdominal engagement.
Three and a half years later, there are many more resources available for both instructors and pregnant woman. Jennifer Gianni, a mom and a birth coach herself, has created a training program for instructors. Sarah Picot has produced one of the most comprehensive pregnancy Pilates programs available anywhere. Women can now get their workouts directly on their phones, and celebrities everywhere are crediting Pilates with getting their pre-pregnancy shape back impossibly fast.
Having gone through two pregnancies and taught clients through dozens more, I have compiled a list of go-to resources for both my teaching and my clients. Here are my favorite resources:
Pilates and Pregnancy by Sarah Picot: I recommend the book, because it comes with a video, and it has specific notes for each stage of pregnancy.
If you travel a lot, the Pilates and Pregnancy iPhone Apps are a fantastic take a long tool that won’t weigh down your baggage. And at just $5 per trimester or $10 for the full program, it’s a fantastic deal.
Jennifer Gianni, herself a mom, Pilates Instructor and a Birth Coach, has also created a series of videos for use during and after pregnancy. My favorites are Post Pregnancy & C-Section Recovery & her Exercising with Baby DVD. Her four month old daughter rolls around and tries to scoot away- just like both of my kids did every time I tried to exercise with them. The Post Pregnancy video includes a quick introduction with Jennifer, three days post partum and still in the hospital, giving new moms an idea of what they are in for and a few exercises to get started right after the baby is born. Watch it before going to the hospital- if you wait until after you will miss out on valuable information!
Jennifer teaches her Pre & Post Natal Teacher Training program around the world, but if you can’t make it to her, she has videos available to review the protocol of teaching pregnant clients available for purchase on her website. Sarah’s book also includes a section for helping instructors modify for pregnant clients.
Lynne Robinson’s Pilates Pregnancy Guide offers great full color photography along with several exercises and stretches that, while not in the traditional Pilates repertoire, were some of my favorite for staving off back pain.
Pilates is a fantastic tool during pregnancy- both for preparing for birth and for aiding in quick postpartum recovery. Always remember (and remind your clients) that every pregnancy is different, and every day can bring new challenges. Pregnancy is not the time to push the body, it’s the time to nurture it, and Pilates can help you do just that.