Pilates pregnancy Classes London
What to expect from your Pilates pregnancy class and how to choose the best one for you
Pilates is a great way to keep fit during pregnancy. And there is no shortage of pregnancy Pilates classes to choose from in London.
Finding the right antenatal Pilates in London, however, can be difficult. The changes happening to your body during this period mean that any exercise you undertake needs to be safe and appropriate for your stage of pregnancy. For this reason, it is also vital that the Pilates instructor taking the class is qualified to teach pre- and post-natal Pilates
We have put together some information on Pilates and pregnancy to help you make the most informed decision possible.
We’ve explained why Pilates is an ideal form of exercise for pregnant women, what kind of classes you can expect to find around London, and how to choose the right class for you.
And we’ve also thrown in a little about the pregnancy and post-natal work we do at Complete – just for good measure!
Pregnant women need to exercise
Baby charity Tommy’s advises that all pregnant women who are healthy and have had straightforward pregnancies should be exercising. This is because exercising during pregnancy reduces the possibility of developing gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Keeping fit and active throughout your pregnancy can also minimise the chances of complications during labour and can help reduce the length of labour.
For those women wanting to keep fit during their pregnancy, there are numerous postnatal fitness classes on offer in London.
Out of all of them, however, Pilates is one of the safest and most effective ways to train your body.
Pilates pregnancy classes London – Why is Pilates a good choice?
Pilates is low-impact form of exercise, which means that you can practise it no matter what stage you are in your pregnancy.
Pilates exercises can also be easily modified to suit your needs. So, provided you choose a class where the instructor can give you adequate attention (and depending on which trimester you are in) you should have the pick of quite a few classes in London.
Pilates is also a particularly good choice for pregnant women because of the way it strengthens, stretches and stabilises the body. Exercises from the Pilates repertoire can support you through the physical challenges pregnancy brings by strengthening your core to help you carry the weight of your bump. This can reduce the risk of any lower back pain.
It can also help to prepare your body for birth by using certain exercises to build a strong pelvic floor. These muscles are going to be put to good use during labour. So, before you get to that point, we need to ensure that they are working in the right way.
And there are even more reasons to keep fit using pregnancy Pilates. For example, working on your upper and lower body strength in a Pilates session can help you meet the needs of being a new mum more easily. Plus, maintaining a good level of fitness will mean that you get back in shape more quickly.
- It strengthens your deep muscles. Whilst this is always an incentive to take Pilates classes, having a strong core is even more important than normal when you are carrying the weight of a baby bump.
- Having a strong centre, hip mobility and a mobile spine can help relieve back pain and joint ache brought on by pregnancy.
- It strengthens your pelvic floor, which is vital for preparing your body for birth and for recovering after it.
- Your body will move in all directions and orientations in a Pilates class. This can be a great circulation booster, which will benefit you and your baby.
- Pilates focuses on good breathing habits. And breathing is an essential part of the labour process.
- It will help to prepare your body for after the birth. Building strong arms, legs and core will prevent you from getting injured when you’re carrying your baby around all day.
Which type of Pilates should I choose?
It can difficult to choose a Pilates class at the best of times. But it can be doubly-hard when you are exercising for two.
You need to choose a class that is going to challenge you but also keep you and the baby safe.
The best pregnancy Pilates classes should also be working on all the right muscles to help your pregnancy progress as smoothly as possible, and prepare you for birth and beyond.
Are mat or equipment classes better?
A quick Google search for “pregnancy Pilates London” reveals the array of choices for pregnant women looking for Pilates classes in the city.
There are both mat and equipment classes available, and both offer something different.
Pregnant women might find that equipment Pilates is a good choice for them as the environment is very assistive. This means that the Pilates machines can help you achieve certain movements without you over-using certain muscles. Or recruiting the wrong ones. This can be particularly helpful as you progress through pregnancy and moving your body gets a little harder!
Then again, mat Pilates can also be a great choice. There are a lot of pregnancy mat classes to choose from in London. Most require you to buy in blocks of 5 or 10 rather than offering drop-in sessions. Whilst this may feel like a bit of a commitment at first, it may mean that the classes turn out to be slightly cheaper than equipment ones. By attending mat classes you’ll also be picking up exercises you can do those days when you’re at home and want to move.
When it comes to choosing a pregnancy Pilates class for you, it is always worth asking friends or relatives for suggestions. Some studios also offer introductory rates and trial sessions; it might be worth giving some of these a go to see which class suits you best.
What about group classes or 1-2-1 sessions?
As with all Pilates classes, prenatal Pilates classes come in the form of group or individual sessions.
By signing up to a block of pregnancy mat classes you’ll spend a designated time with a group of ladies going through the same things as you. This means that mat classes can be a great way to get your body ready for your baby – and make some new friends at the same time.
Some studios also allow you to attend their Reformer classes. They’ll often stipulate which trimester is appropriate for the different classes on offer. If you have been attending Pilates regularly and are fit then Reformer classes might be right for you – depending on what stage your pregnancy is at and what the studio says. Check their websites to find out more details.
Another good option for pregnant women looking for affordable Pilates classes might be the smaller group classes know as “studio classes” or “studio clubs” that many studios in London run. These usually involve a pre-class assessment with an instructor who will then design a class especially for you. Although you won’t get as much attention as you would in an individual Pilates class, it means that you can be safe in the knowledge that you will only ever be doing exercises that are good for you and the baby.
1-2-1 Pilates with a specially trained instructor might be the best choice to take you through pregnancy. These personalised sessions mean that you get the full attention of the instructor and will only be given exercises that are great for you and your needs. You’ll also be performing every exercise under their expert supervision, which makes 1-2-1 sessions a pretty safe choice when it comes to exercising during pregnancy.
So, how can I find the best pregnancy Pilates in London?
Look for pregnancy classes with Pilates teachers who have undergone rigorous pre- and post-natal training.
Relaxin, a hormone produced during pregnancy in preparation for labour, creates a laxity and instability in joints throughout the body. This can lead to pain in the pelvic region.
This means that extra precautions need to be taken during your Pilates sessions. There might need to be modifications to certain movements because of this and the emphasis of the class might need to change. It is therefore important that the teacher taking your class understands the changes happening in your body so that they can give you the most appropriate exercises.
So, before agreeing to take a class, look at the instructor’s profile on their website or the studio’s website. This should give you an idea of their training school and level of expertise.
Pilates pregnancy classes London with Complete Pilates
We offer pre-and postnatal care at Complete Pilates through 1-2-1 sessions because we believe this is the best way for us to give you the care and attention you need – and will get you the best results. These sessions are taken by our highly trained pre-and postnatal teachers, so you can be sure that any session with us will be safe for you and your baby.
We also have women’s health physios as part of our team. They are a great resource and can help us to support you through pregnancy, labour and afterwards.
Looking for mat exercises? No problem. Because we offer completely personalised sessions, part of our sessions can focus on giving you a collection of safe exercises for you to do at home.
These 1-2-1 session are a great investment because you can continue them throughout all three trimesters. This means that Complete are able to support you all the way through your pregnancy.