What is Postnatal Pilates?
Pilates uses low-impact movements, combined with breathing exercises, to strengthen your whole body.
Postnatal Pilates is a class for those who have recently had a baby and want to help their bodies recover. It can help you strengthen your core muscles and reconnect with your pelvic floor. This class is delivered by Sam Blakey, a leading postnatal specialist.
We know that childcare can be a struggle for new parents, so you are welcome to bring your baby into class with you, up until crawling age. While you’re moving on your Pilates mat, they can be snoozing or stretching next to you on a mat of their own, or playing with their activity frame. If you need to pause to feed your child, you’re welcome to do so within the class. And, as an experienced parent, Sam is something of a baby whisperer who can often be found teaching with an infant on her hip.
With a limited class size of 8, you will receive personal attention from Sam to ensure optimum results, and modifications will be offered throughout the class to give options for every ability.
“Sam is a great fitness instructor. She works with each mum to do what is safe for their level and regularly assesses us to check what we are doing is working. Her classes are fluid so we have a say in what we do and they are different each week. Being able to bring baby is a lifesaver!”
SW, Mum of two, Harrogate
Is this class safe for me?
All attendees of this class are required to have medical sign-off to exercise, which you would usually get from your GP at your six-week check. If you have a concern about a specific health condition, speak to your doctor before joining the class.
Your first class should be at least six weeks since vaginal birth, or twelve weeks if you delivered through caesarean section.
“I ended up having an emergency caesarean and my post-surgery recovery was a real concern for me. I feel so much more confident with Sam helping me to regain my pre-pregnancy fitness and core strength – she has an amazing depth of knowledge of how to work the pre and postnatal body safely, but make no mistake – you will get a proper workout!”
What happens when I join the class?
At the beginning of your first class, you’ll have a quick chat with the instructor, Sam. This ensures it’s safe for you to join the class, and helps Sam to learn more about your specific needs. For example, Sam can identify whether you have abdominal separation, also known as diastasis recti. This condition is where the two muscles which run down the front of your belly are pushed apart as your uterus stretches during pregnancy. About 60% of people experience diastasis recti as a result of pregnancy, and it can resolve itself. However, two in five cases of diastasis recti are not resolved at six months postpartum.
Abdominal separation can cause weakness in the core muscles which can make movement difficult, and can contribute to back pain, hip pain, poor posture, urinary incontinence, and pain during sex. Postnatal Pilates can be an extremely useful tool to resolve abdominal separation, even many years after pregnancy – Sam herself used Pilates to close her abdominal separation after 14 years.
Please note that speaking to Sam is not a replacement for medical sign-off from your doctor – you should still speak to your GP before joining the class.
Who is the instructor?
This class is taught by Sam Blakey. Sam is a nationally recognised specialist in natal fitness and experienced personal trainer. She is one of only eight senior hypopressive trainers in the UK, a unique approach to relieving pressure on weakened muscles and helping recovery from pregnancy and birth. Sam has 10 years of experience as a personal trainer, and 8 years as a pre-natal and post-natal specialist. She also has five children, so she understands the difficulties and challenges faced by parents.
“I’ve recently had my third baby and can honestly say that Sam’s Pilates classes made a real difference to both the birth and my recovery. I was so much stronger during my labour and despite having a big baby (9lb 12oz!) found that my abdominal separation has actually reduced during my pregnancy. I’ve now joined Sam’s post-natal classes and have found that her expertise is really helping my core strength to return. I certainly feel so much better now than I did at the same stage with babies 1 and 2 and the only thing I’ve done differently is follow Sam’s exercise advice.”
This class is all about building your strength and providing a bridge back to the activities you enjoyed before pregnancy, whether that’s running, yoga, cycling, climbing, or something else. It can also provide you with the functional strength and confidence to do all the things you need to do as a parent: lift your child in and out of their high chair, bend over their cot to say goodnight or good morning, and get up and down off the floor for tummy time.
There’s no pressure to ‘spring back’ in this class: it’s about getting to know your postnatal body and building up strength which will serve you for life.