BELLE MATERNITY · BLOG

Prenatal Pilates : the Super method for pregnancy

Prenatal Pilates : the Super method for pregnancy

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pilates prenatal pilates jeydancepilates
 

Prenatal pilates can make a whole difference in the way expectant mom live their motherhood, pregnancy, labor and delivery. From its extraordinary adaptability & amazing results Pilates is a method that suits pregnancy perfectly. 

I started my journey in pregnancy world as postnatal Pilates specialist and  pelvic floor Pilates sessions in Midwifery center. 

Through my experience, the more I worked on the “after” the more I discovered that  starting Pilates before was making a whole difference & avoid many post-partum issues. 

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Jeydancepilates reformer prenatal pilates
 

What is pilates ?

Pilates is an increasingly effective form of exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels. It is a low impact, versatile, and super option for people wanting to improve their strength, posture, balance, flexibility and muscle tone. 

Pilates exercises focus on strengthening the lower abdominal muscles and pelvic floor, providing a ‘stable core’ that supports the back and allows efficient movement. Exercise programs can be extensively modified to focus on different body parts and accommodate individual needs.

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swiss ball props prenatal pilates

How does pregnancy affect the abdominal muscles, back and pelvic floor?

During pregnancy, the abdominal (tummy) muscles are stretched to make room for the growing baby. This may weaken the muscles, particularly the deep abdominal muscles. Deep abdominal muscles are responsible for providing support to the back (working like a corset). Lack of support makes the back vulnerable to injury. This is made worse by the hormone relaxin, which is released in pregnant women to soften the ligaments and allow the pelvis to stretch during delivery. Many pregnant women experience back pain.

The pelvic floor muscles are responsible for controlling the bladder and bowel. They are weakened as they stretch and hold the weight of the growing baby.

Pregnant woman sitting on the floor with fitness ball

Weak pelvic floor muscles can result in difficulty controlling the bladder or bowel (incontinence) and can impact on sexual function.

Is Pilates useful in pregnancy?

Pilates is an ideal exercise during pregnancy as it is designed to strengthen the deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.  These exercises can be performed in positions that are suitable for women at all stages of pregnancy, such as on hands and knees, on the side an using props and equipment. 

With the particular focus on deep muscles such as pf (pelvic floor) and transverse, as well as body’s awareness and breathing: it makes the pregnancy comfort rises up & body’s pain and discomfort ease. 

Particular breathing of Pilates which can be used either to engage subtle & deep muscles or discover relaxation and calm are essential tool for both labor & delivery. 

Such exercises  take the stress off the back and pelvic floor, and help position the baby for delivery. 

Is Pilates safe during pregnancy ? 

To exercise safely in pregnancy, you should be able to perform an effective pelvic floor and deep abdominal contraction. Very basic Pilates exercises are designed to achieve this.  This is why you need to be assessed by a Pilates instructor or physiotherapist before continuing with exercises. That’s also why i value & encourage 1-1 when no previous Pilates experience, as it leaves no room for mistakes and wrong postures. 

At jeydancepilates for Belle Maternity program we build the right protocol for your pregnancy. Doing 1-1 sessions by certified instructor with specific knowledge and do&don’t for pregnancy we ensure the safety of all clients. 

In my classes we work on reformer, chairs, and mat. I work hand on hand with physiotherapist and chiropractors to adjust and adapt to body’s changes, as well as medical referrals and midwives expertise for baby’s growth and safety.

wunda chair pilates prenatal

Main benefits Of Prenatal Pilates

  •  keep your body strong & flexible 
  • – protect your pelvic floor (during & after pregnancy ) 
  • – safe : know do & don’t exercises 
  • – adapt to body changes 
  • – breath control  : for labor & delivery
  • calm, stretch, relax : embrace your pregnancy with mindful method
  • – speed up recovery postpartum 

Info& inquiry 

-1-1 50 mins session 

_Jey’s private studio- Shanghai, China

ARTICLES · TIPS

5 ways Pilates can improve your sex life

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Dear Students I often point out Pilates for rehabilitation or alignment but there are much more fun reasons to add Pilates to your repertoire.

Researches have shown that not only Pilates exercises make sex better, but many of Pilates benefits have more than basic benefits in the bedroom.
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1-Use your pelvic floor

The most obvious reason, Pilates makes you have a better sex, and I always emphasize this point elsewhere, it uses your pelvic floor;

Nowadays everybody talks about pelvic floor, but very few (even among professionals and fitness) know what it is and how to use properly.

Pilates is actually one of the only discipline that really makes pelvic floor muscles grow and tone up, and first develop consciousness about them. We work closely the pelvic floor as part of the core foundation.

But what really are pelvic floor muscles?

Before everything let’s recap what are pelvic floor muscles: Pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs and span the bottom of the pelvis. The pelvic organs are the bladder and bowel in men, and bladder, bowel and uterus in women.

Because yes we talk about both genders when it comes to « pelvic flor », men are often surprised to learn that they even have one!

Researches, and the acclaimed Dr Kegel, recognized the importance of training the pelvic floor and its role to improve sexual function and satisfaction. A healthy, toned up, strong pelvic floor, Is the key to good sex life for women and men!

WHAT TO DO? Work your shoulder bridge on the Mat. Curl up and down between each repetition.

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Then bring that move to the mattress. With consistency, your performance and intensity should help everyone cross the finish line

2- Stress reduction

As being a mind-body focus technique, Pilates will help you reduces stress and calm your mind.

The effects of stress are insidious. It takes a toll on your physical, emotional and relationship health, probably more than you realize. It impacts your overall health and by it your sexual life. Stress raises the production of a hormone called cortisol, and high level of cortisol in your body actually lower your sex hormones.

Lower degree of sex hormones equal lower libido.

Pilates with its regular practice, helps you control and manage stress, and prevent cortisol level from rising too high and too often.

It also, by calming the mind rises testosterone. When it comes to sexual desire, the most influential hormone is testosterone: the hormone responsible for sexual appetite, performances and pleasure.

Pilates class gives you stress reduction comparable to “holidays”, and who never noticed that on holidays your sexual life is way much more active

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3- Work on your breathing

A correct breathing is actually a pattern that very few master and that is essential in every daily life aspect.

When you have sex: you need all the oxygen-rich blood you can get coursing through your body, refreshing your cells, enhancing your endurance, and waking up all of your senses. Unfortunately, for many people their version of heavy breathing is shallow panting, not optimal for full on sex or exercises.

In Pilates we learn to lengthen and pace our breathing timing the exhales with the point of exertion. Translate this into love-making when you’re up for something more than a quickie and you and your partner can draw out a sex session that takes up a full afternoon or more.

What to do? Practice your hundreds (see picture below) then practice small pumps inhale for five, exhale for five.

hundreds version

4– Concentration

One of the sad facts about exercise is that most people try not to be there for it. They work their bodies but send their minds elsewhere. Pilates is one of this technique that makes you help concentrate and by it: be totally at what you do. Stay present

If you rehearse mentally checking out during physical activity, you may well fall into that pattern during sex. Distraction is an enemy to sexual satisfaction.

So working on your focus is imperative. Joseph Pilates intention was to integrate the body and mind toward an elevation of the spirit and full enjoyment of the pleasures of life.

WHAT TO DO? Begin at the beginning. Work on the first 5 moves of Pilates mat work (The hundreds, leg circles, rolling like a ball, one leg stretch, double leg stretch) with maximum concentration.

Do not let your mind wander outside your body. Note your sensations, challenges and breathing.

The next time you’re feeling frisky, bring your new found focus with you in bed and add this perk to your lover panoply.

This may be the most challenging for some but has the most impact.

 5- Improve variety, better balance

Pilates moves happen on your back, on your stomach, in sitting, kneeling and standing. Many moves challenge your stability and balance. Sex play can be a bit scary for some as we often get into habits routines that involve repeating the same position. As we get older, trying new things is harder mentally and physically.

Improving your balance can help inspire everyone to test drive a new method and simultaneously keep us safe.

WHAT TO DO ? Incorporate some balance Pilates moves into your routine. Most can be done anywhere and anytime. Try teaser.

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Pilates is all about balancing your body. A balance of strength, mobility and even your body chemistry.

Be aware whatever exercise you choose that adopting a Pilates sensibility to right-size your workout is the very best strategy for a happy healthy body both inside and outside of the bedroom.

Now: what are you waiting for?

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