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Pilates and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know About Your Pelvic Floor, with Sarah Haag

Episode 41:

Pilates and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know About Your Pelvic Floor, with Sarah Haag

Sarah Haag joins us on the show for an in-depth discussion on pilates and pregnancy, exercise, and continence issues. And she shares her wisdom on what you should and shouldn’t do — exercise-wise — with your prenatal and postpartum client. Pregnant people aren’t delicate flowers. We want to empower clients in the perinatal period, be honest about their needs, and let you know how you can support them as an exercise professional. We dive into the details of pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain, what you can do for clients with pelvic girdle pain, diastasis rectus abdominis (abdominal separation), and pelvic organ prolapse. Sarah also gives in-depth instructions on how to help clients to do an effective pelvic floor contraction and gives detailed tips for fitness instructors on how and when to cue pelvic floor exercises.

What You Will Learn:

  • Key pilates and pregnancy exercise guidelines and why pregnant people aren’t as fragile as we think
  • Urinary incontinence — the causes and how exercise can help solve the problem
  • How to approach pregnancy-related pelvic pain as an exercise professional, and when to be concerned about a client
  • Whether pregnant people should be doing abdominal exercises
  • Detailed instruction on how to do a pelvic floor contraction and when and how to cue one as a Pilates teacher

Pilates and Pregnancy: Best Practices for You Should Know

Health and fitness professionals often feel anxious about working with pregnant clients because they’re concerned that they can’t support them adequately. So it is helpful to understand how to approach pregnancy-related pelvic pain and exercise and when to be concerned about a client. Sarah dispels more than a few myths around the subject of pelvic instability and Relaxin, and she describes how pelvic problems impact people in pregnancy.

Diastasis Rectus Abdominis

Sarah dives into the common misconceptions around diastasis rectus abdominis (DRAM), how likely perinatal people are to suffer from abdominal separation, and how she approaches the issue with her clients. Discussion also focuses on key concerns for Pilates instructors around DRAM — Sarah gives her evidence-based view on whether pregnant clients should be doing abdominal exercises and why.

Effective Pelvic Floor Contractions

We unpack the causes of incontinence and why it is so important for Pilates professionals to understand how to support prenatal and postpartum clients during exercise. Sarah discusses why fitness instructors shouldn’t necessarily cue pelvic floor contractions for clients and emphasizes that evidence shows that pelvic floor exercises can treat incontinence successfully. She also tells us why we’ve probably been cueing pelvic floors wrongly and why sometimes we just need to let them do their thing.

Pilates and pregnancy

About Sarah Haag:

Sarah Haag is a women’s health physiotherapist and co-owner of Entropy Physiotherapy and Wellness in Chicago, Illinois. Sarah graduated from Marquette University in 2002 with a Master’s of Physical Therapy. She went on to get a Master’s of Science in Women’s Health and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Rosalind Franklin University in 2008.

In 2009, Sarah was awarded the Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy (CAPP) from the Section on Women’s Health and Board Certification as a specialist in women’s health (WCS).

About Raphael and Cloe:

Raphael Bender, CEO, Breathe Education

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

Cloe Bunter, Training Manager, Breathe Education

With 8+ years in the industry, both teaching Pilates and nurturing new instructors, Cloe is passionate about empowering new and seasoned instructors to think critically and move fearlessly. Empowered instructors empower their clients, and in turn, change lives.

She finds great joy in building connections with clients, students, colleagues, and the broader movement and rehab community. Co-hosting the Pilates Elephants Podcast, with Raphael Bender, has provided an incredible platform to bust common Pilates, movement, and rehab myths whilst creating a worldwide community of critical thinkers who are elevating health literacy.

Cloe is fascinated by movement in general, and its ability to enhance our lives, at any age. Her own movement practice includes Contrology/Pilates, running, weights, and kettlebells. She has a Diploma of Clinical Pilates, Cert IV in Pilates, and Cert IV in Training and Assessing.

How to Connect with Sarah Haag and Breathe Education:

Pilates Instructor Training Resources:

Our Pilates instructor training is 100 percent online, so you can study from anywhere in the world.

Earn recognition: Your Breathe Education Pilates qualifications are recognized by the Australian Government, Exercise & Sport Science Australia, and all major insurers.

Build your skills: with our pilates instructor training, you’ll learn the original Contrology exercises created by Joseph Pilates. Plus, you’ll learn the most current, science-based ways to cue and program those exercises, how to work with injured and pregnant clients, and nurture beginners.

Gain confidence: Learning is fun and easy when you engage with our state-of-the-art eLearning system, filled with straightforward, relevant content and structured to guide your training as you build skills and confidence.

Feel supported: You’ll learn world-class problem-solving skills, not just a list of answers. Our student success team and trainers will provide you with all the guidance, challenge, and support you’ll need to become what you want to become.

Take your first step to becoming a certified Pilates instructor by scheduling a 20-minute Discovery Call with us here.

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