Postnatal pilates with Heidi VandenBroek

5 Nov

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Once mums have safely delivered their babies, the next question is almost always “What can I do to get my body back?” There is immense pressure from the media, other mums and mostly ourselves to fit back into our skinny jeans in the quickest time!  We believe that you should enjoy your time with baby at first, and when you are ready, getting active can be a great solution.  We’d like to introduce ZCNL Pilates as a great form of post-natal exercise for you, and a lovely way of bonding with your baby.  At Nurturing Mums, we encourage and support activities that help you feel your best, and point you in the direction to make this daunting task easier!!


Pilates logo LondonNorth



Designed by Joseph Pilates, Pilates is a body conditioning routine that helps build flexibility and long, lean muscles of the abdominals, armships, and back, placing emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment.  Wouldn’t you just love to see improvements in your range of motion, flexibility, circulation, posture, and abdominal strength? You may even experience a decrease in back, neck and joint pain.  Incredible!

Every ‘Mother to be’ will wish they had started earlier in life as the rewards are endless! It is also good a good experience for the new mum to have a break, take some time for them and meet other new mums.


Once you have had your baby, feel ready to exercise, and you have had your 6 week postnatal check (or later with a c-section) and been given the go ahead, then Pilates is the perfect way to start. Why not come and join us at ZCNL Post Natal Pilates? Learn how to retrain the tummy area from the inside out and help yourself strengthen the deep abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor, which can help get the body back to normal. Focus on regaining your pre-pregnancy shape, easing into each exercise slowly to re-acquaint you with your changed body and musculature.  Continue with your ZCNL Pilates sessions once a week to truly progressing towards gaining your pre-pregnancy shape back!

Benefits of postnatal Pilates:

  • Strengthens your pelvis floor muscles that may have been weakened by pregnancy to avoid problems such as incontinence.
  • Retrains your abdominal muscles to help support your spine and pelvis and recover your pre-baby shape – flat stomach anyone?
  • Corrects any postural problems following the natural changes in your body during pregnancy.
  • Strengthens your upper body enabling you to lift your growing baby, potentially avoiding back problems.

The Specifics: Pre and postnatal Pilates exercises are primarily used to encourage the  transverse abdominus (TVA) to engage, which is a deep postural muscle wrapping horizontally around the torso like a belt. This muscle provides support and stability to the spine allowing the rest of the body to move more freely. Strengthening this prior to your birth (as well as after) is important as it not only aids in stability, but aids in aligning your rectus abdominals after. The pelvic floor muscles often also need strengthening. This group of muscles provide a hammock like platform at the base of the pelvis (and co-contract with the transverse abdominus) and as they can be weakened by the weight of the baby during pregnancy and (will be) stressed at birth.

Haven’t tried Pilates? Remember Mums, pregnancy has had you focused on other things for 9 months! Be patient! You’ll need to return to pre-pregnancy exercise levels gradually, not resuming activity too soon. If you are worried at all, ask for quality one to one time with your instructor! This can also prepare a future programme  such as tracking how your posture changes and advising the best exercises to suit you, as well as answering any further questions regarding your body’s physiological changes.

Pilates goes far beyond your core muscles however and not only provides a complete body workout (you will be working muscles you didn’t even know you had!), but also helps you develop an awareness of how your body works, helping your mind and body to work in harmony!!
N.B always check with your G.P before starting or returning back to exercise. Postnatal sessions are run as 6 week courses, booking terms and conditions apply. Contact ZCNL with further questions! 07717314954

Heidi VandenBroek (creator of ZCNL) is your Advanced Level 3 Pre and Post Natal qualified fitness instructor.  She is a follower of the Register of Exercise Professionals, fully insured with qualifications in Level 2 Fitness Instruction Emergency First Aid, and an Advanced level 3 in Mat based Pilates and Pilates Reformer. She has been teaching cardiovascular based group fitness (such as indoor spin and zumba) for 8 years which is also the perfect compliment to pilates!

Classes start mid-November:

Thursdays at Jewish Care, 221 Golders Green Road

Fridays 11.30, St Mary’s Hall, 26 Hendon Lane

Taster session Nov 8th at 5.45pm


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