ANTE-NATAL PILATES... Classes starting May 2...

Posted by Colette O'Flynn on April 25 2013 @ 14:48

New course for mums-to-be starting in RATHGAR, Dublin 6 next Thursday, May 2.

Classes to be held in Christchurch, Rathgar Village at 6.15pm each Thursday.

Cost €80 for six weeks.

All classes taught by a chartered physiotherapist.

Contact... info@physionow.ie

Colette O'Flynn Physiotherapist Pregnancy

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Posted by Colette O'Flynn on September 07 2010 @ 10:41

Surveys show that nine out of every 10 new mothers are unhappy with their bodies. But physiotherapist and fitness instructor Colette O’Flynn – herself a mother of two – has some uplifting news for mums and mums-to-be…

The Body After Birth Survey 2005, in Mother & Baby magazine, had some interesting statistics about new mums in Britain and Ireland. A shocking 97% of mums admit to being “unhappy” with their body after having a baby. Eight out of 10 are “shocked by the changes in their body” after pregnancy, and 85% fear their beach body has “gone forever”.

The women surveyed were particularly critical of celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kerry McFadden and Davina McCall, who’ve all been pictured looking sensational just weeks after having babies. 93% of mothers say celebrities losing weight so drastically after giving birth “puts immense and unwelcome pressure on ordinary mums”.

Most frightening, however, is that a QUARTER of mums think they will “definitely” have plastic surgery “either now or in the future”. A further 25% say they will “consider it”. Their top three choices of cosmetic operation would be liposuction (cost approx €4,500), tummy tuck (€6,500), or breast enhancement (€6,700).

It’s vital, then, that women know that surgery is not the only way to a better body. Much easier, more enjoyable, and much less expensive is pilates, an exercise programme which can help you, not only as a new mum – but right through your pregnancy.

It’s true that starting a new exercise program is never easy. And when you’re exercising for two, finding a fitness routine that is both safe and fun can feel like just too much trouble. In fact, when you’re pregnant, you may not feel like exercising at all, especially during the first trimester when you may be uncomfortable, sick and tired.

But with the proper instruction, and – most importantly - a go-ahead from your doctor, pilates can be a safe and invigorating choice for pregnant women and new mums. Pilates builds muscular endurance (you'll need lots of that to deliver your baby!), flexibility and good balance, something you'll need as pregnancy progresses. Gentle pilates exercises and breathing techniques not only provide oxygen and nutrients to unborn children but can contribute to a smoother pregnancy and birth. And the controlled moves give you the time you need to adjust your posture and support yourself.

But don’t just take my word for it. Liz Hurley, a first-time mum at 37, stunned everyone when she poured herself into a skin-tight leotard for a saucy photoshoot just 10 weeks after giving birth to son Damian. She attributes her dramatic turnaround to “a low-fat, high-protein diet combined with pilates”.

During pregnancy, women undergo a lot of physical, hormonal and emotional changes. Your exercise needs change with every passing month. And your exercise programme must adapt to these changes.


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Posted by Colette O'Flynn on September 07 2010 @ 10:35

As a expectant mum, the sooner you start pilates, the better.

It takes time for your body to learn the correct movements. By strengthening your deep abdominals, you’ll be preparing your body to carry the extra weight of a baby, and preventing problems in later pregnancy.

Pilates strengthens the most important muscles you'll use during pregnancy and labour - your abdominals, pelvic muscles and back. Pilates focuses on the core muscles, particularly the transversus abdominis, the muscle you use to push out the baby.

Pilates also works your pelvic floor muscles – very important for your sex life, and vital to prevent incontinence at later stages of pregnancy.


Please take advice from your doctor, before starting any exercise programme. If you’re new to pilates, experts recommend you wait 13-16 weeks into your pregnancy before starting the exercises.

Remember, too, that rest is very important in the first trimester. Even if you’re a pilates veteran, you may have to limit your exercise sessions to afternoons or evenings – if you suffer from morning sickness. Beware, too, that at times you may feel dizzy, clumsy or unbalanced. Please stop the exercises if you feel ill or uncomfortable in any way.

Now is the time to work on your posture, to strengthen your back muscles, as it will become more difficult for you to lie on your tummy as you get bigger. Once it becomes uncomfortable to lie on your tummy, leave those exercises until after the birth.

At all stages, take care not to work too hard, become too hot or lose your balance.


By now, you’re beginning to show. However, you will usually be feeling better, as the tiredness and nausea ease.

In the last two trimesters, lying on your back for extended periods is not recommended. Lying on your back can cut off the oxygen supply to the baby. You should seek out a pilates class specifically designed for pregnant women. If you lie on your back, you will need to change position every three (3) minutes, or have your back supported by a special wedge.

Because of your growing bump, it will be difficult to “pull in your belly button” – the classic command in pilates. So you should think, instead, of “raising the bump”. As your breasts get bigger, you will need to work on your mid-back muscles, to prevent you from becoming round-shouldered. You will also need the support of a good bra.

One issue you should be aware of - separation of the abs (diastasis) can occur by the end of the second trimester. This is a particular problem for women with poor muscle tone. Because of this, it is safest at this stage for everyone to avoid exercises that involve the basic curl-up.

Due to hormonal changes, your joints are now less stable, and it is best to avoid overstretching the hamstrings and groin muscles.

Also avoid any exercise that involves lifting the pelvis high off the floor.


Cramps are often a problem in late pregnancy. These can be relieved by calf stretches, elevating your legs and pumping actions of the ankle.

At this stage, you will also be experiencing fluid retention and increased blood volume. This may cause, possibly, numbness, pain and pins and needle sensations in the hands and feet. When exercising on your hands and knees, a rolled up towel under the heel of your hands may help make you more comfortable.

Empty your bladder before you work out.


• Pilates prepares you for labour

• The exercises are non-impact, and won’t stress your joints

• Pilates helps you learn to relax

• Pilates benefits food digestion, blood circulation and breathing

• It teaches you a method which will help you regain your figure after birth

• It strengthens postural muscles, important during pregnancy as your body changes

• It helps make you more comfortable


• You have suffered more than two miscarriages

• Are expecting twins

• Or suffer from… high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, incompetent cervix, placenta praevia, severe headaches, blurred vision, pain or recurrent fevers.

Anyone with any doubts whatsoever should contact their doctor prior to starting any exercise programme.

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Posted by Colette O'Flynn on September 07 2010 @ 10:25

Remember, you can continue to reap the benefits of pilates AFTER you have had your baby...

Pilates can help women regain their shape a lot faster. During pregnancy, abdominal muscles stretch to about three times their regular size. Pilates helps you get these muscles, and your pelvic floor muscles, back in shape.

Many mothers over 40 experience lower back and hip pain. Strengthening core muscles and improving posture can help new mothers lift and carry their children and prevent any permanent damage.

Normally, you can start back to exercise six weeks after having your baby. Take 10 weeks off if you’ve had a C-section. However, experts say women should start pelvic floor exercises as soon as possible, perhaps as soon as 24 hours after a normal delivery. The Pillow Squeeze, as described earlier, is an excellent start. If you’re breastfeeding, feed your baby before you do your exercises – as your breasts will feel more comfortable.

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