After giving birth, a woman’s abdomen naturally starts to go back to its pre-pregnancy shape. Some women seem to easily bounce back after pregnancy – abs go back to where they are supposed to and the weight seems to slip off after a few months without any issues (lucky!).
Other women have a tougher time bouncing back after pregnancy. Since every body is different and every pregnancy is different, there are lots of variables that make it easier / harder for a woman to reach her desired shape. We’ve outlined a few below & will address how Pilates at Core Reform can help with these issues.
– Loose abdominal wall: After pregnancy (or any weight loss), the abdominal wall can feel “not as tight” as it did before. Imagine that the abdomen (skin, fascia, muscles) is sort of like a hair elastic – it stretched to hold a bun and then it needs to go back. While some go back easily, others do not. Women sometimes describe the whole abdominal wall as feeling “loose.” Pilates can help because it can teach a client how to tighten the muscles. A client can learn how to contract the muscles and work them correctly. With practice & persistence, the abdominal wall will tighten.
– Abdominal separation, or diastasis recti: Abdominal muscles naturally pull apart as a women’s belly expands. In most cases, they go back to their original position on their own. If they do not go back on their own, then Pilates can help bring them back together. Careful, deliberate, and targeted exercises of the abdominals, along with commitment can fix diastase recti.
– Weight loss: Loosing a few extra pounds is one of the less fun aspects of post-partun life. The best way to tackle weight loss is with regular exercise and a careful diet. Pilates is a form of exercise and can help with weight loss.
* Many women do not know that they have abdominal separation or diastasis recti. When a women has it, she might feel like she works out all the time and watches her diet, but she isn’t seeing the results she is looking for. She might be frustrated because she is working really hard but is not noticing a difference with her abdominals.
** Clients with abdominal separation or a loose abdominal wall will see results faster with some private training. A recommended program usually consists of a series of private sessions, followed by regular classes and with occasional privates to check healing & re-focus.