Pregnancy pilates

I'd been looking into doing a pregnancy pilates class for a while.

Pregnancy Pilates class.

Pregnancy insider blog

What I found is that most are during the day. Hello – a lot of people work!I found this with pregnancy yoga classes too. Do they assume that if you're pregnant you must be free all day? Very annoying.

So I finally found a class at  a goodish time and located on my way home from work. I say goodish because it's on a Friday at 5:30pm. So, 1. this negates me being able to do anything on a Friday until after 7pm and 2. it means I have to leave work early to get there.

Pilates classes unlike most other classes insist that you pay in a block of say 6. Whilst this makes good business sense for the pilates teacher, it essentially means that you pay for 6 weeks regardless of whether you are able to make all the classes or not. I had a slight grumble about this too because at £10 a class it ain’t exactly cheap – especially when you're trying to save pennies for baby things!

Grumbling out of the way, I've been to a couple of classes now and I'm really enjoying them!

There are four ladies in the class, which is the maximum size so you get very individual attention. We are all at different stages of our pregnancy so it's also nice to chat and share experiences. It's not so thrilling to see how much harder the exercises seem to become when you're 8+ months pregnant! One of the ladies really didn't look like she was having a great time!

My main motivation for joining the class was to strengthen my back and core and also get to work on those pesky pelvic floor muscles.

I slipped a disc in my back nearly a year ago and at the time it caused me no end of complications and pain. It wasn't completely resolved when I fell pregnant and it was something the GP mentioned as a possible issue for me during pregnancy. During the last couple of months I have experienced increasing amounts of pain in my lower back, hips and general pelvic region. It's hard to know if this is due to my back problem, being pregnant or a combination of the two. So I thought that pilates would at least help to strengthen everything up and get it working properly, whilst I also wait for a physio referral.

As you're not meant to lie on your back in the prone position during pregnancy we did a lot of things sitting on an exercise ball, standing, lying on our side or just sitting on the floor. It was really varied and challenging, but in a good way! We did three sets of pelvic floor exercises in different positions. We had to squeeze everything together and imagine it like an elevator, bringing them up to the first, second and third floor and then back down again. For me it felt like they were either squeezed or not – floors weren't happening – it was all or nothing! Apparently this is quite common but being able to control the strength of the squeeze is meant to be really helpful for labour and general control in that region.

We also did some upper body strengthening – useful preparation for lugging a baby around!

Apart from anything else I find the classes really relaxing and it's super nice to be able to take an hour and focus on just me and the baby – and then chat incessantly about all things pregnancy with the other ladies afterwards. Understandably not everyone is a fan of that chat so it's nice to have an outlet for it!

Read the next instalment of the Pregnancy Insider

The pregnancy insider profile

Follow our Pregnancy Insider, the blogger who tells it like it is, by liking our Tommy's Midwives Facebook page. Our Pregnancy Insider is 29, lives in East Anglia, practices yoga and is a big fan of House of Cards - and she's pregnant with her first baby. Look out for her blog each week. 

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