My Pilates and Postpartum Journey

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

Pregnancy tore me apart. Motherhood took me over. Pilates built me up.



"Having a baby changes everything". That phrase could not prepare me for how much I would change. My body, the way it feels and moves or doesn't. The way my brain processed the world around me, the depth of emotions I was suddenly feeling and how overwhelming, suffocating and beautiful it all was.

Before my body was my son's, it was mine and it loved Pilates. So much so that I became an instructor to share this empowering movement with others. I wasn't overly strong when I started Pilates. I was petite. I had never been overweight or needed to lose 10 pounds. I didn't know what it felt like to not be able to connect to my abdominals or to pee a little bit when I laughed. I knew nothing of tummy rolls, stretch marks or lower back pain. My boobs never ached or leaked and I was never afraid to lay down on my chest. I never farted when I rolled like a ball, wondered where that second butt came from or felt like I couldn't do something. Not to say that I didn't have my own struggles that led me to Pilates in the first place, because I did, but that's another story. But as far as Pilates instructors go, I looked the part.

I was a Pilates Instructor. Then I was a pregnant Pilates instructor.

And all of sudden I had this little miracle of a human being that I loved with all of myself. That love also a bit suffocating. Everything was different. I was not me. My body was not what it was. I didn't seem to own much anymore, not my sleep, not my time, not my hobbies. I was a mother. That was it, and that was everything.

6 months postpartum and my body started showing me signs that it needed some gentle and healing movement. I had back pain and what I suspect was sciatica. My body ached all over. My posture was horrible, I spent so much time sitting, and rounded over nursing. I remember being in so much pain, crying and curled up on the couch. My first instinct was not to move. That made everything worse. Finally, I got down on the floor and did a really gentle and slow cat stretch. As soon as I started moving I knew that's what I needed more of. My pain was greatly reduced. I watched a pilates video online the next day to try and get back into it. One move was lying on the floor and just moving the arms. I thought it would be so easy. To my dismay, I couldn't feel anything. Not that the workout was so easy I couldn't feel it, but my body was so spent that I couldn't feel or connect in my core at all. I felt like it was a mess of a workout. Looking back I'm proud of my postpartum self for slowly easing back into the mindful movement that I really needed! But in the movement, I felt like a pudgy failure. I cried a bit that just moving my arms around was a "hard workout".

Not long after I started teaching again at a studio nearby a few hours a week (insert all the feelings of being a slightly "soft" looking Pilates instructor and feeling like a hypocrite). Getting back on a reformer was pure bliss. I could work out and build up my strength slowly without compromising my already questionable back. I started building back up my core strength and my body started moving a bit more smoothly. Not at all like it had pre-baby, in some ways different and in some ways I felt things better because I really had to focus to feel my body! I coupled that with great nutrition and started my year and a half journey of losing all that weight I gained. Pilates and Paleo was the magic combination for my body.

More than just my body though it helped me heal mentally and emotionally. I gave myself some "me time". I gave my body some love and attention when it was most vulnerable. I surrounded myself with other moms and instructors at the studio who all knew what I had just gone through and encouraged me along the way. I slowly gained confidence in myself again along with a new appreciation for my body and for the role Pilates had in my body and mind. It allowed me to embrace motherhood in a whole new way.

It's also made me a more mindful instructor. I empathize with new mothers who are tired in so many ways, who don't feel well or back to "normal" or how to find a "new normal". I remember not being able to feel a single thing in my core when I knew I needed to. I have felt all the feelings that go with a body that expands, gives life, and then heals and shrinks. It still amazes me! It is such a privilege to help guide women into connecting, moving, and building strength in their body exactly how it is that day, pregnant, not pregnant, or postpartum. Pilates is a journey for everybody. Motherhood tore me apart alright and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I Pilates now, so I can mom harder later.

I would love to hear how you took care of your body after baby in the comments!
















Ready to book a session?

You can book Pilates Reformer Sessions at our New Braunfels, TX location, or virtual Private Pilates sessions all online, here.











#pilates #pilatespostpartumhealth #pilatesnewbraunfels #postbabybody #pilateslakeforest #postpartumexercise #lakeforest

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Untitled

Holding Space... I've noticed a large discrepancy from studio sessions to virtual content. When you come into the studio or into your Pilates space virtually, I'm here to help YOU take care of YOU. Th

ThePilatesUnderground5-22-29-2-36.jpg