As a safe and controlled form of exercise, Pilates offers many benefits to new mums.
But making it to a class can be a challenge too far in the months following pregnancy.
That’s where the Mummy and Me classes at Southsea-based Everybody Pilates come in.
The sessions allow women to take their babies along to classes – and even include their pride and joy in the process.
Everybody Pilates owner Amy Kellow says: ‘We had a lot of clients who loved coming to Pilates but when they had babies, found there were child care issues and couldn’t make it.
‘This allows mums to feel the benefits Pilates can offer, get back into shape and not have to worry about child care.’
The classes aren’t just about toning up. Pilates works on strengthening the core and improving posture.
It targets the areas that new mums often feel they need to focus on, strengthening the tummy muscles, back and glutes (buttock muscles).
‘Often when new mums are breastfeeding and carrying baby around all day, they go into round back posture – Pilates is great for working on that.’
Before women start exercising again, they have a safety check.
‘We feel the abdomen to make sure their body is ready to do these exercises,’ Amy explains.
Classes are for small groups of about six to ensure everyone receives the attention they require.
And women only work as hard as they feel able, although Amy says it’s not a case of going along for a coffee and a chat.
‘They will be getting a workout, but with a strong focus on the stomach and back muscles.’
Baby lays next to mum for some of the exercises. But there is plenty of sensory interaction.
‘It’s a very relaxing environment – which people find quite surprising. There isn’t loads of crying, it’s usually pretty quiet,’ says Amy.
The Mummy and Me class runs at 10am on a Friday and costs £30 for a block of six sessions, although there is a pay as you go option.
Everybody Pilates is at The Old Treasury, 7 Kings Road, Southsea. For information on all classes, email email@example.com or call (023) 9283 3876.