Have you ever heard of anyone doing a marathon without putting in the months of training before hand?
Were they very successful? …. yeah I didn’t think so!
There isn’t a hope in hell I could get around 26 miles without doing months of smaller runs, building up to bigger runs, in order to get me mentally and physically prepared for the epic task ahead. If I don’t want to be injured, I need to take it seriously and seek out good massage therapist to keep me supple, train my body well for overall balance of flexibility and strength to avoid the obvious side affects that over training of just certain muscles groups I use when I run, will have on my body throughout. I need good supportive footwork and clothing, I’ll need to think about my nutrition and how I get the extra energy I need to be able carry on running. It’s all takes time! Many of my friends who have done a marathon, say it’s the months of training that really is the hardest bit as you need to stay motivated, get out in all weather conditions, invest in yourself and your equipment and prepare, prepare, prepare.
Having a baby is just like preparing for a marathon, except one crucial missing link. Most people don’t train for a baby!
If you’ve got youth on your side, lucky you, you must just be lucky enough with the fountain of youth to wing it. Your body is healthy, fit, supple and lots of collagen still, so it very well may spring back into place no problem afterwards. But for many of us not so fortunate with a 20 year old elixir, we need to be thinking seriously about how we are going to get in shape from the inside out,, whilst we are still pregnant.
- We need to think about on earth is my body going to be able to cope with such a crazy demand on it physically…. have you seen the size baby bumps grow to? It’s enormous!
- How am I ever going to carry the weight of that little bubba, bouncing around on my pelvic floor muscles for 9 months?
- How is my back going to cope with the massive pull on it?
- Don’t even start me on the size my boobs can grow to- ouch, poor neck, back and shoulders taking that weight!
- Did you know your abdominal wall literally has to split apart in order for the uterus to grow bigger and bigger… man I wish I had strong tummy muscles!
Then of course there is the delivery….. ok so let’s not think about the pain side of things but how I am going to get a size of a small watermelon out of a tiny window. Yes of course I know dilation is going to play a massively natural role here, thank goodness, but your cervix still needs a stretch to get baby out, baby has to navigate its way through the u-bends of your body in order to get out and how am I going to push that baby out?!
PELVIC FLOOR, DEEP ABDOMINALS AND BREATH… lots of breathing!
Well hang on a minute… I know something that’s all focus on those 3 things…… PILATES!
Pilates (Contrology as it’s actually known) is the study of art and control. I sure am going to need some concentration, control, precision, stability, breath, centering and a whole of strong and flexible deep muscles to carry this baby, deliver this baby and come out ok on the other side!
Pilates uses the deepest abdominals and pelvic floor muscles that work together with good breath control ie your diaphragm, to allow movement to your body.
We know the song… “the leg bone is connected to hip bone…” right? Well your pelvis in which baby is going to enter and then exit at the bottom, is connected via your abdominal wall at the front, your waist (obliques) and side glute muscles at the side, your pelvic floor from underneath, your diaphragm from the top and your back muscles, hip and glutes from the rear. That’s a big old cylindrical drum wrapping around you.
All of those bits need to be firing on all cylinders so to speak, as they all join together and have an affect on each other. They need to be strong, but they also need to be flexible.
We can’t contract a muscle if it’s already too tight, just as we can’t contract a muscle if it’s too weak. Balance!
So baby is now here….I’m thrilled, and within just a few short days I am wrestling with awkward car seats, heavy prams, bending and lifting over cots… yet our poor unseen insides have literally just taken ten rounds with Mike Tyson, and have no way of supporting me. After a couple of months, I’m desperate to start losing the baby weight and return to some sort of normality in my shape, so I dig out my trainers and start gleefully puffing and panting my way round a park, pushing baby along, stopping for some crunches, squats, a bit of sparring with a friend with some boxing gloves and a couple of kettle bells, I can barely hold the plank and I feel the little “OOOOPS” moment on more than one occasion since I’ve been here including the time I laughed, coughed and sneezed. But that’s ok right? That’s just what happens after you have kids?!
Months later, I look to my tummy and still recognize the dreaded “mummy tummy” It looks all crepey in the texture of my skin, it looks like a split loaf baking in the oven with a big deep crack in the middle of my belly that I am sure I could stick a few fingers or my fist into! But that’s just what happens after you have kids right? No more crop tops for me!
Crikey, my back is hurting, and I have this pain in my hip and public bone. That must just be me getting on a bit right?
WAIT WAIT WAIT!
No it’s not alright, it’s not the “norm” It doesn’t have to be like this. Don’t put up with it.
- Do you want to protect your body and carry baby during pregnancy without huge aches and pains, waddling like a duck and ending up on crutches to cope with the load?
- Do you want to deliver baby without the need for intervention, to use your own muscles to get baby out?
- Do you want to get back into shape naturally, healthily and correctly from the inside out, whilst taking care of a good physical workout too for your arms, legs and whole body to cope with the weight of baby, car seats, carriers, prams etc?
It’s Pilates for you then…. safe, appropriate and modified for Pregnancy or Postnatal.
Get clued up on what’s happening to your body, what to expect, what’s normal, what’s not normal, listen to womens health physio Bally Lidder, and workout with Pod boss Michelle in a special
Mums, Bumps, Babies MOT Workshop on Saturday 1st December 2018. 10-12.00.
£35- 2 hours of interactive talk, advice, MOT, Pilates for pre and postnatal, and goodies to take home. BOOK
Suitable for mums to be from 13 weeks, postnatal from 6 weeks after normal delivery or 10-12 weeks following C-section. Or anytime even if your kids are 20 now but you are suffering still! Don’t suffer in silence!
End the “oops” and the “split loaf”
Written by Pod Boss: Michelle Smith. Check out her on You Tube talking about pre and postnatal care for your body.