We are delighted to publish an interview with Nikki Williams-Quamina from Devolin-Mai Pilates (UK) regarding the practice of Pilates during pregnancy and perinatal period.
Nikki is a Midwife and an experienced Pilates instructor and trains women both during pregnancy and post-childbirth period.
Please find the interview below:
IFWIP: What is Pilates?
Nikki: Pilates is a group of low-impact exercise and breathing techniques which aims to strengthen the body, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and wellbeing.
Regular Pilates practice can help improve posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility, as well as relieve stress and tension.
Pilates was developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were closely connected. Joseph Pilates originally devised more than 500 exercises. 34 were mat exercises. Mat work may involve traditional Pilates equipment such as magic circles or hand weights, as well as non-pilates gear such as stretch bands, gym balls, and foam rollers.
IFWIP: Can you practise Pilates in Pregnancy?
Nikki: Yes. Pilates is a good form of exercise as it is low impact and can be tailored to individual needs. It is important however that you attend a class that is taken by a trained Pilates instructor as well as training in pregnancy exercise. It is also important that you listen to your body and only do what feels comfortable to you.
IFWIP: Should Pilates be avoided in any specific cases during or after pregnancy?
Nikki: Generally, Instructors require any pregnant client to seek medical assessment prior to starting an exercise programme. This is also requested post delivery. Most women will be able to do some form of Pilates.
IFWIP: Is this time-consuming? How long and how frequent should this be practised?
Nikki: No, a normal Pilates Class is generally 1 hour long. The frequency of practice is up to the individual. Some people prefer daily practice and others prefer a longer session once or twice a week.
IFWIP: How is Pilates different from other forms of exercises advised during pregnancy?
Nikki: Pilates is different as it has a focus on core strength and the pelvic floor. During pregnancy, this is very beneficial. Pilates also has a strong focus on physical and mental health so you develop both during practice. Pilates is also very adaptable and can be tailored to individual needs.
IFWIP: Is this expensive?
Nikki: In the UK, Pilates classes start at approximately £10 and one to one sessions start from approximately £50.