Prenatal and postpartum pilates are essential natural healing techniques to prevent injury and aid in recovery of the abdominals before, during, and after childbirth. As a professional, if you work with women chances are you have had some prenatal and postpartum clients. Even 25 years later, a woman can still be experiencing postpartum alignment challenges, chronic pain related to childbirth and separated abdominals or, diastasis recti.
If you are a barre instructor you may have students in your class who are starting to consider conception. If you are a yoga teacher, you may have clients with grown children who's ribs are still out of alignment and should be modifying twisting and extension poses. If you have attended a pre/post teacher training you may feel confident in offering movement modifications for prenatal and postpartum clients as a pre/post Pilates, yoga or barre instructor.
If you have not attended a training you will want to do your students a favor a learn a little more about the Do's and Dont's of birth recovery essentials: diastasis recti, cesarean recovery, pelvic floor dysfunction or pubic symphysis. The chances are very high that many of the women in your classes will need support in these areas. Whether they are just beginning to consider their first pregnancy or they are grandmothers, there are a few OTHERS things you may want to consider:
Find out if there is anyone in your area ( or a short distance away) offering a prenatal or postpartum Pilates or yoga teacher training. Even you are not planning on teaching pre/post or mom + baby fitness classes but rather planning on working individually w/ birth recovery clients, you are going to want to know a few essential exercises, stretches and postpartum exercise modifications share.
Abdominal separation (diastasis recti) can affect anyone - it is an alignment/ intra-abdominal pressure issue that many postpartum women suffer from and can worsen with certain exercises and movements. Exercise contraindications include forward flexion, knees at a "table top position" + mid lower thoracic extension.
Alignment is key! Where are the ribs? Are they stacked over the pelvis? Rib flaring can encourage and worsen a diastasis recti. Your mamas need to know this so that when they are doing everyday tasks like caring for children or sitting at a desk, they know how to make their own adjustments for their ribs.
As the teacher if you can offer and demonstrate a modified version of an exercise, you will keep your pre/post clients students safe in a room full of other women. Use props to "bring the floor up", reduce the range of motion (especially during rotation and extension exercises) and provide an easier version of the exercise or offer an alternate one depending on their needs.
If you are a prenatal Pilates instructor, postpartum doula offering home visits a studio owner, I hope you find these Birth Recovery Essentials helpful and please pass on to any Mama you know!