I discovered pilates years after the birth of my third baby. I only wish I had been made aware of it during my first pregnancy, then at least I would have had a heightened awareness of my postural alignment for one thing. My health was good and I had loads of energy but I had no idea of just how careful you need to be with all this energy. I was obviously aware of hormone levels changing rapidly, but I don’t remember anyone giving me any advice on how to protect and take care of my spine as well as all the other important weight bearing joints in my body. I managed to make it all the way through to baby number three with out hearing anything about pelvis stability or keeping your core strength and posture in check. All the concerns were focused on equally important routine monitoring of blood pressure, urine checks and scans. The hormone Relaxin does what its name suggests, joints become much more flexible and ligaments are lax and may be predisposed to injury. This is where caution is needed for the active mum who may… as I was, find herself heavily pregnant and dealing with the demands of a toddler, in and out of car seats, pushing a heavy shopping trolly with groceries and your toddler on board; is no easy task!

Needless to say I did suffer constant low back pain whilst carrying baby number three, unfortunately the back pain stayed with me for years. I had been to see osteopaths and chiropractors which all helped in giving me instant relief but as soon as I got on with day to day activities the pain returned. I first read about pilates in a magazeine and I began to see the connection and wanted to find out more. Which is when I decided to become a qualified pilates instructor in 2006, I advanced to level 3 in 2009 and in January 2010 I qualified for a level 3 specialist qualification in Antenatal and Postnatal Physical Activity which is an accredited qualification from the Energywise Academy in Edinburgh, and is recognised by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Register of Exercise Professionals UK.

My back pain is now under control since learning to exercise using my core strength while in a safe postural alignment…. So if you are expecting or have had your first, second or third baby and this sounds familiar… Why not send a comment.
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  1. Hi Karen, I am writing in response to your article on pregnancy & postnatal pilates. I’m not actually doing pilates at the moment but hope to get started with you at some point over the next few months. I can relate totally to what you are saying about having to be on the go with a young family. I have a 3 year old son and gave birth to a baby girl 6 months ago. I’m a naturally active person anyway and a few months ago I began to suffer with low back pain. This was around the time of moving into our new house. We did get loads of help from family & friends I launched myself into getting the house ready, I felt fine at the time with plenty of energy. Thinking back, I never gave it a second thought, that my back might be about to cause me problems. I was just doing the same as everyone else and I was feeling great. Anyway after spending the day going up & down ladders getting the last of the curtains in the bedrooms up. The following morning my lower back just seized up every movement was painful. To cut a long story short, my GP recommended physio plus pilates. She also told me that even though my 6 week post check up was fine I still had to think about my body &hormones returning to normal and that this can take a little longer if you are breast feeding like me. She said this was a natural process and that the hormone relaxin you mentioned in your article would still be in my body and can cause ligaments to become over flexible. She told me that in around 4 months time my body will have stopped producing this hormone. In the mean time my back is a lot better and I just take care, no over the top movements for my back, my physio thinks I will be ready to start pilates with you at the end of November which I’m really looking forward to.

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