Natasha Wood: why expectant mothers need to keep moving

Natasha Wood is a London-based trainer who teaches yoga, barre and Pilates classes aimed at correcting poor alignment, building core strength after childbirth or injury, feeling calm while maintaining stress and anxiety forever dismantle. Discover Natasha’s offers on Wanderlust TV: Power Barre 30 and her new Pregnancy Fit course.

Which Practices Will Fit Your New Pregnancy Fit Course? Is it more yoga-oriented or a “fusion” concept?

Pregnancy Fit is a fusion concept that combines yoga, barre and Pilates for a nice, well-rounded pregnancy class.

What do you find the greatest challenge and reward in working with pregnant women?

It is most rewarding for women to make progress during their pregnancy journey and watch their movement develop and change as their bump grows. It’s so inspiring to see so many women exercise until the last few days of pregnancy because they started so early and enabled them to keep going.

Barre is also one of the safest forms of exercise for prenatal training. The most difficult aspect can be working with a woman who experiences many different symptoms during pregnancy. You need to make sure that you are giving this client the correct and safest exercises for her.

How early in pregnancy can you start prenatal exercises?

I always say it’s wise to wait until around 9-12 weeks, especially if you’ve tried it for a while or experienced a miscarriage. The Center for Exercise says most women can continue their normal regimen for up to about 10-12 weeks and then begin taking customized prenatal classes.

Listen to your body and what you need. Even the most seasoned athletes will take a break in the first trimester, or at least keep it gentle until they start proper pregnancy classes around 10 to 12 weeks.

Is there any benefit in taking antenatal classes while a woman is trying to conceive?

pregnant hiker

Photo by Lucas Favre

I think it can be beneficial for you as it sends a signal to your mind and body that you are ready to conceive. You are purposely preparing the body for childbirth and it is always good to have an idea beforehand of what you can and cannot do about exercise and pregnancy.

Are Core Building Exercises Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes, most abdominal exercises are safe with exceptions and adjustments. There will be modifications for things like planks, crunches, and twists. Before pregnancy, make sure that your back muscles and core are strong as these will help you experience less pain during labor and recover faster afterwards. A strong core helps with balance and stabilization during pregnancy.

The pelvic floor seems to be the crown jewel of any prenatal and postnatal training. Should we expect a lot of pelvic floor work in your new class?

There is an absolute emphasis on pelvic floor work! As we prepare for childbirth, we want to focus on relaxing the pelvic floor while raising awareness in this area and working on isolation using specific exercises. When it comes to postnatal training, we want to focus on tightening the pelvic muscles through targeted exercises to isolate this area again.

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