By Joie Goh

You might’ve seen them and their growing bumps around the studio, leading killer classes almost up till their delivery dates with supreme ease, and you might’ve wondered: how on earth did they do it? Our new mommas, instructors Jamie and Mel, spill the beans.

1. It reduces pain.

Specifically, the most common pain that pregnant women get: the dreaded backache. “As your stomach gets bigger, your body naturally arches back to compensate for the weight in front, and as a result, your glute muscles get weakened,” explains Jamie. “It’s a comfortable way to stand, but it puts a lot of strain in their muscles, and can cause severe back pain when they get very large.”

Prenatal and postnatal barre classes focus heavily on strengthening your glutes and upper back muscles in order to help with posture. “By maintaining as much as your normal posture, it helps to alleviate back pain,” Jamie adds.

Mat bridges are a great way to strengthen one’s glutes.

Back rows with resistance tubes work the upper body for better posture.

2. It keeps you sane.

“It’s very common for new moms to feel helpless when they see their stomachs constantly growing, so being able to maintain the other parts, like arms and legs, is very motivating,” says Mel, who continued to lead Signature Multi-Level classes well into her 3rd trimester. “And meeting other women, who are going through the same thing as you are, is immensely helpful on an emotional level. I’m always happy after class!”

“My primary source of fitness was barre, and it was easy to continue doing with modifications,” says Jamie. “As you get bigger, your body changes in a way you can’t imagine going through, but barre makes me feel like myself.”

3. It makes delivery and recovery easier.

“A good section of class focuses on working the pelvic floor and engaging it,” says Jamie. “It’s very important to have control over pelvic floor, because lot of women suffer incontinence during and after pregnancy.”

Although Jamie had to stop exercising at 7 months pregnant due to symphysis pubis dysfunction, a condition in which her body produced too much relaxin and made vigorous physical activity extremely uncomfortable, she only required two visits to the physiotherapist and had a natural birth with no complications. “It turns out that having a strong pelvic floor and knowing most of the exercises already made it unnecessary for repeat visits!”

On the other hand, Mel had an emergency C-section. “While learning pelvic floor exercises didn’t really apply in my case, having the knowledge of what you can or cannot do really helps with recovering from a caesarean birth,” she says. And even more impressively, Mel was medically cleared for exercise after only four and a half weeks post-birth!

4. It heals abdominal separation, AKA diastasis recti.

Jamie also found another benefit to prenatal barre classes: an almost-immediate recovery of abdominal separation. While the separation of ab muscles (specifically, the rectus abdominis or “six pack muscles”) occurs naturally to many pregnant woman, since it allows the belly to expand to accommodate a growing baby, the rate at which they return to their original position is highly dependent on one’s body and exercise routine.

Instead, pre and postnatal barre focuses on strengthening the stabilising core muscles, which function like a corset around the torso, and taking away pressure from the top ab muscles thus reducing the scope of splitting. “Even if you have significant separation post-birth, regularly doing stabilising core exercises can help your abs to gradually come back together,” Jamie says. “Pre and postnatal barre also teaches you what moves to avoid, such as crunches, full planks, or really, any ab exercises that causes you to overwork and over-engage your ab muscles!”

Four-point kneeling exercises challenge the stabilising core muscles without over-working the abs.

5. It gives you a community.

“I loved that I made friends in pre-natal barre classes and kept in contact with them, so that I always had someone to talk to, almost like a support group,” says Mel. “Especially now that I am breastfeeding, it can get really lonely getting up in the middle of the night for feeds, so having someone else going through the same thing around to text with while I’m up, is really, really nice.”

“Even if you only see them once a week at class, just knowing that we’re all having the same experience of motherhood, that we can relate to each other and talk, is so important,” says Jamie.

2 Comments

  • Samantha says:

    Hi,

    I’m interested in signing up for the pre-natal class. Is it recommended during the 1st trimester?

    • admin says:

      Hi Sam! Thanks for reaching out – yes our pre-natal classes are safe to start as soon as you conceive to the week before you give birth (we’ve had many clients take it all the way through to the day before they pop!)

      We have a first timers trial for $29 on our website, try it out and let the instructor know its your first time. We’ll take real good care of you and make sure you get all the pre natal benefits to help you through your pregnancy journey.

      Any other questions, feel free to let us know at hello@webarre.com and we’ll be happy to help. Thanks!

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