As a mom to a new baby, whether you have a pre-existing love for Pilates or have never taken a class before, mom and baby Pilates classes may be exactly what you need. Trying to fit in exercise when you’ve just given birth to a tiny human can be almost impossible with the full time needs of a small baby. But mom and baby classes offer you the option of getting in your exercise without asking hubby or needing to find a babysitter as your baby will be part of your class. Mom and baby Pilates is a gentle class that may assist post-partum recovery and allows moms to regain their strength, while allowing baby to be present or involved.
Classes are usually offered from 6 weeks post-partum; however, you should always get clearance from yours and your baby’s doctors before you begin any exercise regime. Your body has taken on a huge task of creating a human for the last nine months, and bringing the bundle of joy into the world, whether naturally or by C-section would have taken a toll on your body.
Mom and baby Pilates offers moms a chance to focus on getting their body moving and functioning in a healthy way. The gentle movements for mom not only help with toning up the tummy but can also help with recovering from pregnancy and birth complications such as diastasis recti (split abdominal muscles) and pelvic floor weakness. In addition, it can ease and prevent lower back pain caused by carrying baby and nursing by strengthening the upper body and supporting good posture.
It’s also healthy for mom to get out the house a bit and can be a great way to make new mom friends. Building a support system that includes other moms of small babies can play a big role in mom’s mental health and coping with the demands of a baby.
During the class, moms can attend to their baby’s needs as they arise such as nappy changes, feeding, burping or putting baby to sleep. If baby is asleep during class, they can lay in their carrier next to mom. If baby is awake, they can either lay next to mom’s mat and enjoy the new environment, or they can join in the class with mom. Your Pilates instructor will have planned some gentle exercises that involve holding baby to encourage bonding and allow baby to become part of the exercise. It is quite common for these classes to be restricted to small babies that aren’t yet crawling as this class type isn’t geared for little toddler tornadoes.
Babies also benefit from the Pilates class through bonding with mom, observing a new environment with different music, smells and visuals. And most of all, having a healthy and happy mom means baby will get the best of her!