Pilates Community Forum > Pilates for pregnancy

A client of mine who is not a regular but a drop-in came in for a private and informed me that she is 6 months pregnant. OK no big deal, but she the told me her Docs say that she can do nothing supine. She is very healthy, not suffering from any problems, is right on target with weight gain and is not in a high risk group, but says this is the new protocol stressed by most doc's and not just her OBG's.
Of course I honored that and I know why the supine position is not recommended for prolonged periods, however she said the new thinking is never supine afer the first trimester. She has been sleeping on her side or propped up to 60 degrees and says she is not looking forward to the next 3 months.
I try to stay current on research and my own daughter had a baby 18 months ago and didn't mention anything about that to me during her pregnancy; she was 38, it was her 1st baby so she was considered high risk.
I reread the article on pregnancy that was published pretty recently in the Pulse and the author actually recommends some supine exercises.
Has anyone else heard of these stringent restrictions?

April 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLA

There definitely is a guideline put out by ACOG that women should not exercise in the supine position after four months, and this has actually been around for a while. The warning exists because there is the chance that there could be excessive compression of the vena cava in this position. If this is occurring, women generally are very aware that this is happening and will complain of symptoms of dizziness or discomfort and will instinctively roll to their side. This warning is visible all over the internet and in the prenatal books. However, the warning is very conservative, and most doctors generally are fine with short duration supine exercises provided that the patient tolerates the position without a problem. However, every now and then, there will be a doctor who wants his patients to follow the guideline strictly. If this is the case, just honor the doctor and patient's wishes.

April 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDebra Goodman,MSPT

http://www.amazon.com/Exercising-Through-Pregnancy-James-Clapp/dp/1886039593 <-- This book is an excellent resource on exercise guidelines during pregnancy.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmma Cunningham

Even with all the guidelines...until you have experienced pregnancy first hand, you won't know how much being on your back can affect you. Be aware of all the published "rules" but also tell your client to tell you moment to moment if she experiences any dizziness, pain, or odd sensations. I can tell you that when I was pregnant a year ago, I could NOT go on my back at all from about the 4th month. I would get extremely dizzy and wierd feeling. Plus, I was in the same age and risk level as your client.

You might even want to consider getting some sort of note from the doctor. You don't want to do anything that might conflict with doctor's orders.

Just my opinion. Be cautious and ask the client lots of questions.

June 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Samoilov

g2 fit offers a great maternity stretch fitness mat and has the illustrations of the stretches printed directly on the mat. if you need more info about it you can go to g2fit.com....also if you use the promo code ewg2deal you get $10 off. Hope this helps!

June 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdaria

While I don't always agree with them, I know doctors have much more medical training than I do and if a client says his/her doctor has told him/her to not do something, I always honor it, regardless of how ridiculous I might think it is. So for this client, no supine at all.

In general though, when working with pregnant clients we need to remember that every pregnancy is different, even with the same woman. With my daughter, I was uncomfortable on my back for 2 weeks right in the middle of my pregnancy, but before and after that, I was fine. With my current pregnancy, however, I cannot lay on my back for any period of time at all. My Pilates regimen with this child is completely different than it was with my daughter.

In classes, I've found that the Pilates Arc by Balanced Body is an amazing tool for women that aren't comfortable on their backs and makes classes accessible much longer into the pregnancy.

July 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

There are definitely guidelines to avoid supine exercise but mostly in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. In the first trimester it is still possible to continue them below 12 weeks as the embryo is still very tiny. However the supine exercise time should be limited and as an adaptation you can use a special pillow to have the upper body slightly propped.
Also, spend 8-10 min minimum on a warm up - the joints are more fragile and it takes longer to warm up the body. It is one of the key points. Teach your client how to do kegel exercise and proper breathing - take time with those as they are important for labour and pelvic floor strengthening.
Good luck!

July 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVarya

During pregnancy, your tummy muscles are stretched over your growing baby and if they're weak, you may develop back or pelvic pain. Your weakened pelvic floor muscles may become less supportive to your bowel, bladder and uterus (womb), and move lower down into your pelvis under your baby's weight.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPilates London