Forum / Let's Discuss! / High Risk Pregnancy and Reformer

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On: May 18, 2014 16:48 PM
Hi Guys! I have purchased the video for the prenatal reformer protocol and it is awesome! I am so thankful to have this information in my library now! I do have a client that I have questions about. She is in her third trimester (approx 33 weeks) and is diabetic. She is very knowledgeable about her body and is progressive in her pregnancy plan. Her hopes are for a natural birth and she is determined to deliver in a position most effective for her (quadruped, sidelying, etc) She is reading Calais-Germain's female pelvis and I have ordered it too. My questions are: straps around thighs are not super comfortable for her. It's partly a positioning issue but also the straps feel too tight on her legs. Is it contraindicated to have her perform feet in straps with smaller ROM? Also, she has asked me about the supposed controversy between kegels and deep squats. A quick internet search revealed that there are quite a few opinions on which exercise is most important - or which exercise should even be avoided during pregnancy. Do you have any advice on balancing the two exercises? Thanks is advance for your help!!
On: May 18, 2014 18:12 PM
Hi Shauna, I am so happy to hear from you. And glad to hear you are enjoying the pre/post pregnancy protocol videos. Do you know I am teaching our Fusion Pilates for Women's Health and Pre/Post Natal Certification in asheville May 30,may 31 and june 1st? ( fri, sat and sun) You will leave filled with info and practical Information and exercises that you can start using on your clients right away. You will get the newest edition of the manual with all of my current exercises and protocol ( lots of new, exciting info and information). You also get 2 dvd's and 2 of our newest online workshops ( pregnancy reformer and Post natal essentials). Now for your questions...Do you have the velcro thigh straps or are you using the feet straps around her thighs? Get the velcro straps. Those are very comfortable. Make sure the propping under her head, shoulders, lower back and pelvis is ideal. Now for the squatting OR kegel controversy. This is so strange. It is not so black and white even though the media would have us believe so. Both are really important to practice if done thoughtfully and with quality. Pelvic floor musculature is like every other skeletal muscle in our body and must have balanced work. To constantly be tightening it ( even during the 1st trimester when we want to keep the baby in) is the wrong strategy for a well working body. The body will meet demand and if you tell it to be super tight that is exactly what you will get. I think the most important thing we acquire from a really good Pilates practice is that we learn to pay attention to our bodies and have great respect for the subtle changes that we can create. It is in our hands to have a well functioning body at any stage . We have to be even handed and always balanced in our approach. There are times in life however where we do need to tip the scales and pre and post natal is just that time. During 1st and 2nd trimester and early post pregnancy you will do a bit more strengthening and concentric work of the pelvic floor and in 3rd trimester you will mostly do eccentric , lengthening and relaxing of the pelvic floor. And don't even get me started on the squatting. Squatting is THE BEST posture anyone can do pregnant or not. In pregnancy it is essential that we try to practice and get comfortable in as close to a traditional squat as possible. And I am not talking about a gym squat where the knees come in line with the hips and the back is long and the sitting bones wide. Nope, I am talking about the ancient squat position. This tunes our body and actually nutates the coccyx and stretches the pelvic floor between the pubic bone and tailbone ( how perfect for delivery, right? Want more info reference Germain's Female Pelvis and Preparing for a Gentle Birth) Going from Standing to squatting and Squatting to standing also unwinds the musculature of our legs, hips and pelvic floor ( want to know more? Read Muscle and Meridians by Philip Beach and learn why from an embryological standpoint) All that being said, in our culture there are very few people who can squat well because all we do is sit in chairs. So it is a little insane to drop right into a traditional squat as soon as you get pregnant. In our training we give you lots of ways you can ease your clients into it by getting their feet, ankles and hips ready for it as well as lots of propping tips. These were great questions and I hope I gave you some insight. But remember that every client is a a new project with very individual needs and not every pregnant client will require the same things. Listen to and respect what your client feels comfortable with. It is especially important with our pre and post natal clients that we honor where they are and don't push too hard or too fast to have them try something they are not mentally or physically ready for. Thanks for going the extra mile for your client . We have some awesome teachers out there. So proud to be part of this community. Love, Jen
On: May 21, 2014 15:28 PM
Hi Jen, I think I have read your response 2 dozen times! Thank you for all the great information. You are a wealth of knowledge and I appreciate you sharing that with the Fusion community! I would so love to take the Women's Health course but won't be able to make that trip. Hopefully there will be another opportunity in the future! Stacie and I look forward to coming to Asheville in the fall to complete the apparatus training! Thanks again, Shauna
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