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5 Modifications For Your Prenatal Pilates Workout

Adapt your Pilates workouts to keep it safe for pregnancy.

5 Modifications For Your Prenatal Pilates Workout

Pilates is without a doubt one of the most recommended forms of exercise for women who are pregnant. It can strengthen, lengthen and tone muscles safely, can improve circulation and so much more. With the ever growing popularity of Pilates group reformer classes, expectant mamas may be wondering if they can still go and if so, what changes need to be made. Yes you can absolutely still get your Pilates fix, but you need to practice with caution. Here are 5 modifications you need to make for your prenatal Pilates workout.

These changes are recommended from about 18 weeks and on. As usual, make sure to talk to your doctor before doing any form of exercise.

1. Use a wedge if on back. When you lie on your back, the weight of the uterus puts a fair amount of undue pressure on your organs, which is not only uncomfortable, but also not the best for your body and circulation. Most Pilates studios have a pregnancy wedge to place on your reformer so you aren’t flat on your back! This will solve the circulation problem and make it way easier to get on and off your reformer. (Only use the wedge when on your back; lose it for side lying work).

2. Crunch-less Core Work. Pilates is famous for it’s killer ab work, and pregnant mammas need to keep a strong core for supporting the growing bump in the front, for labor and for recovery. However, big crunching and twisting movements are not recommended. If the class you are attending does this kind of movement, just hold the head and chest up and move only the lower body portion. This will challenge and strengthen the transverse abs, or the deepest layer.

3. Stay seated for kneeling arm work if balance feels a bit compromised. Balance gets thrown off so easily when pregnant because we have this ever-changing and growing weight at the front of our body! Much of the arm work in Pilates is upright on the knees. If your balance feels a bit wonky, opt to simply sit down on your feet instead. You will still get the same great work for your upper body. Better to play it safe when we are caring for two.

4. No more stomach lying- stay seated upright for arm work. At 18 weeks pregnant and on, avoid lying on the stomach. Although it may not feel too uncomfortable at first, you want to avoid putting undue pressure on your sweet baby going forward as they grow (and you grow)! Instead, do the same exercise seated upright on the box. It’s the same idea. Imagine you are lying flat and open your chest to get that feeling of length.

5. Take breaks! This is sometimes hard for the competitive soul, or even to force ourselves to take a moment when this kind of workout is something we can normally do without breaks at all. When pregnant, the body needs much more water, so drink up! Stop at least twice during your class for a sip. Additionally, there is much more blood in your body so you can get winded more easily. Also the growing baby is taking up a lot of real estate in your body so your lungs are a bit more compressed. Take a break to catch your breath. Take a break to pee! It’s not that you are out of shape, it’s simply that your pregnant body is different. So listen to your body, it’s changing everyday!

Andrea is the owner and founder of Speir Pilates based out of Santa Monica, CA and online subscription site SPTV. Andrea has been teaching and refining her fitness method for the past ten years, with a specialization in pre and postnatal Pilates and fitness. She is the creator and star of SPTV Fit Mamma, an online subscription channel that is set to launch in June 2017. This innovative site will take expectant and new mammas through workouts that will make them strong, healthy, svelte and prepared for labor and/or recovery with her hand picked fitness props, and all from the comfort and accessibility of their own home. Andrea's mission is to help women keep their strong, fit, independent selves while at the same time embracing and loving the amazing changes happening within their bodies and in their lives.

These new arrivals from the Motherly Shop are *so* good you need them all

Noodle and Boo, Mushie and Plan Toys—everything you need, mama.

Motherhood is hard work—finding great products and brands to make the journey easier doesn't have to be. Each week, we stock the Motherly Shop with brilliant new products we know you'll need and love from brands and makers that really care.

So, what's new this week?

Noodle and Boo: Holistic baby skin care

Through working with chemists who specialize in natural and holistic skin care, Noodle and Boo has developed exclusive formulas that nourish, replenish and protect especially delicate, eczema-prone and sensitive skin—including laundry detergent. Their signature, obsession-worthy scent—which is subtly sweet, pure and fresh—is the closest thing to bottling up "baby smell" we've ever found.

Mushie: Kids' dinnerware that actually looks great

We're totally crushing on Mushie's minimalist dinnerware for kids. Their innovative baby and toddler products leverage Swedish design to marry both form and function while putting safety front and center. Everything is created in soft, muted colors from BPA-free materials.

Plan Toys: Open-ended toys that last

Corralling and cleaning up the toys becomes less stressful when you bring home fewer, better, more beautiful ones. Plan Toys checks all the boxes. Made from re-purposed rubber wood, they're better for the planet as well.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Mushie silicone baby bib

Mushie silicone baby bib

There's no going back to cloth bibs after falling in love with this Swedish design. The pocket catches whatever misses their mouths and the BPA-free silicone is waterproof and easy to wipe down between uses.

$13

Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

We're totally crushing on the soft muted colors that flow with our table aesthetics and the thoughtful high-sided design that helps babies and toddler who are learning to feed themselves.

$15

Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Stocked with everything a new mama needs to care for her little one's delicate skin, Noodle and Boo's nursery essentials gift set is the perfect way to create a holistic and natural skin care routine from day one.

$45

Plan Toys doctor set 

Plan Toys doctor set

Ideal for quiet time and imaginative role play, we love the gorgeous planet-friendly doctor kit from Plan Toys. The rubber wood stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, syringe and reflex hammer pack up neat and tidy into the red cotton case should they need to dash off on a rescue mission.

$30

Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Since we're buying and using hand sanitizer by the truckload these days, we're thrilled Noodle and Boo has made one we can feel good about using on little ones who cram their hands in their mouths 24/7. Not only does it kill 99.9% of germs, but it also leaves hands moisturized as well.

$10

Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

A toy box isn't complete without a set of blocks—and this set is one of our new favorites. The sustainable, re-purposed wood is eco-friendly, comes at a relatively affordable price point and are certain to last well beyond multiple kids, hand-me-downs and even generations.

$30

Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Because their products were developed for delicate and eczema-prone skin, Noodle and Boo's full line of skin care has become a favorite among those with sensitive skin of all ages. This set is the perfect way to pamper the entire family.

$48

Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

No need to sacrifice safety or design with the sustainable dinnerware from Mushie. Their minimalist, functional dishes are perfect for serving up meals and snacks to your tablemates who might hurl it to the floor at any point. They're made in Denmark from BPA-free polypropylene plastic mamas can feel good about and dishwasher and microwave-safe as well.

$14

Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

The best engaging, open-ended toys are the ones that are left out and available, inviting little (and big!) ones to play. These beautiful gem-like blocks make for addicting coffee table play for the entire family.

$30

Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Energy-efficient design isn't just for grown-up real estate. This green dollhouse includes a wind turbine, a solar cell panel, electric inverter, recycling bins, a rain barrel, a biofacade and a blind that can adjust the amount of sunlight and air circulation along with minimalist furniture we'd totally love to have in our own houses.

$250

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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In Montessori schools, parents are periodically invited to observe their children at work in the classroom. I have heard many parents express shock to see their 3- or 4-year-old putting away their own work when they finish—without even being asked!

"You should see his room at home!" or, "I ask him to put his toys away every day, and it's a battle every single time" were frequent comments.

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