The Baby Gap

The fitter and healthier you are before you get pregnant, the more able you are to cope during the pregnancy and the faster your body will whip back into shape after the birth.

​When Caron Bosler, fell pregnant with her first child, she was surprised to learn in 'What to Expect When Your Expecting' that exercise really benefits: your stamina, sleep, health, mood, your back, your muscles, bowels, labour and post-partum recovery. "It also benefits your baby!" she says, "I learned babies are more fit, smarter and easier to deal with if the mum exercised throughout her pregnancy."

Pilates Squared situated in London's Gloucester Road, offers one-to-one Pilates training for mum's-to-be and can help mum's spring back into shape afterwards.

Caron says: "Exercises vary greatly depending on the fitness level of the mother before she got pregnant. All of the Pilates apparatuses can be used throughout pregnancy but certain exercises will be avoided. Pelvic floor exercises will be increased dramatically to prepare for the extra weight. These little muscles get put through the paces and the stronger they are the less "accidents" there'll be before and after delivery and obviously, we will cease any exercises lying on the back or front."
What Caron and her team offer are lots of exercises to strengthen the back, arms, legs and bum. "We do gentle stretches to keep the body supple. By keeping the lower back and bum stretches there is less likely of a chance you will get lower back pain or sciatica."

It is a proven fact that Pilates can help keep you active and healthy right up until the delivery. Her last pregnancy client gave birth 5 days after her last session! Caron recommends 1-2 Pilates sessions a week. Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.
The Aftermath…

"If you are anything like me, after a baby you feel completely exhausted and overwhelmed.  When I looked in the mirror I vaguely resembled a shadow of my former self." says Caron who gave two births, went straight back into the studio. 
"I hate to admit it but getting back into shape was actually really easy! Pilates realigns all your organs and puts everything back into place. The first session back was like saying hello to an old friend - my abdominal wall."

Caron and her team can ease you back into shape after birth by using a variety of Pilates technics. The light stretching and strengthening in the beginning gives you more energy to cope rather than less. Technics include:

  • The Cadillac is a great machine for putting all the organs that have been shoved out of place to make room for your adorable baby back to where they should be.

  • The Half Hanging exercise has you place your feet in high fuzzy straps and literally 'hangs' you from your legs. It feels wonderful and everything falls right back into place.

  • The 'Lat Pull Down' exercise, also on the Cadillac, strengthens the thoracic area (around the bra strap) of the back. This really helps mums as that area tends to get really tired from holding the baby.

  • The Reformer is another great apparatus for supporting, stretching and strengthening new mums.

  • Most new mums feel bloated with heavy legs. There are countless exercises to get the blood flowing, improve posture, strengthen the abdominals, work the gluts (bum) and focus on the arms and legs.
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  • The Ladder Barrel (Caron's favourite) stretches and loosens the whole body and make one feel relaxed and open. 

For the best results Caron recommends two Pilates sessions a week with brisk walking 2-3 times a week. The walks can be outside in a park with the baby in the buggy with you. Caron says "As you regain your strength and the exercises increase to 'feel the burn' your body will whip back in shape in no time!"