Pilates - Post-Pregnancy
The very best way to have a great body after giving birth to your baby is to have had one before you got pregnant. Most young mothers, especially first-time moms, want to get back into their skinny jeans ASAP - and are willing to go to almost any length to get there. However, if having the body you had before you got pregnant consumes too much of your thinking, you may well find yourself unhappy and resentful.
Having a baby is an amazing experience, and your first priority is your baby and the baby's health and well-being. In order to give your baby everything s/he needs, it is important to keep your own needs in perspective. You need to take great care of yourself - mind, emotions and physical health. As you focus on caring for yourself so you can care for your baby, then you'll be in the right mind frame when it comes to getting back into shape.
Pilates - Pre- Through Post-Pregnancy
Pilates is one of the best ways to get in shape before you have a baby, to stay in shape during your pregnancy, and to get your body back into shape after the baby is born. One of the top reasons for this is that Pilates focuses on developing a strong core. Core strength is invaluable because if your abdominals, back, and pelvic floor muscles are well toned they will support your pregnancy and delivery well and comfortably. Additionally, once the baby is born, it doesn't take long to get those core muscles back into shape with Pilates.
Another wonderful aspect of using Pilates as a method of fitness is that it is very adaptable and flexible. Most of the exercises used in Pilates workouts can easily be modified to accompany a belly, a sore back, or stretched belly muscles that are aching to get back into shape. Modifications are an important aspect of any exercise program because they allow you to do the exercise to gain the benefit, yet work within your present limitations.
Pilates - Practice with an Instructor
If you are new to Pilates, check in with your doctor or midwife before you get started. You will need to find a good Pilates instructor who can give you some serious one-on-one time and who will be able to help you make the necessary modifications in order for you to optimize the exercises. If you've never worked with Pilates exercises before, it's best not to try to do it on your own initially. Pilates exercises are very exact, so in order to get the most benefit, get the proper instruction. The good news is that Pilates is so popular you will easily be able to find an instructor and/or a class that is suited exactly to you.
The hormonal changes you experienced during your pregnancy allowed your body to stretch and grow to accommodate your baby and allow you to give birth. Now that the baby is here, those ligaments and muscles are still stretched to some degree and need to be reminded of what life was like before pregnancy. Take your time and be patient, it will all come back soon as Pilates helps you regain control over your body.
Mind-Body Workout with Pilates Post-Pregnancy
Pilates is a mind/body workout and does not allow for ballistic movement or thrusting to complete an exercise. It is the engaging of the mind and the muscles together, executing the movement with precision. After your baby is born, when you attempt a roll-up (Pilates form of sit-ups) you may think your body has gone AWOL as it refuses to do what your mind is telling it to do. The most important aspect to focus on initially is locating your muscles with your mind; don't worry if the muscles don't do what you want them to do initially. Once your mind and muscles make the connection, they can communicate together to get your fitness program underway and get the job done. Also, by taking the time and focusing on the mind/body connection when you are doing your Pilates exercises, you'll find your body awareness and appreciation exceeds what it was before the baby came along.
Patience is Important - Post-Pregnancy Pilates Works
The idea of Pilates is to get your mind and body to work as a unit. Don't be discouraged at the beginning if it seems that they don't communicate well - it will come with perseverance and patience. After all, it took nine months (or more) to have the baby, give yourself some time to get over having been pregnant.
There is no pat answer to how long it will take to flatten your tummy, but we can tell you this - one of the very best ways to get the job done is by strengthening your core. And, the best way to do that is with Pilates.