Clare is a specially trained Level 3 Pre and Post Natal Exercise Instructor and Level 3 Mat Pilates Instructor based in Brighton, who is experienced in working with pregnant and post natal woman who have had a range of experiences of pregnancy, birth and new motherhood.

The wide ranging benefits of Pilates for the general population have been widely advertised in recent years. However, the benefits to pregnant and post natal women are less widely talked about, even though the physical, psychological and emotional benefits are incredible and can even be life changing for many women.

Pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs and span the bottom of the pelvis. The pelvic organs are the bladder and bowel in men, and bladder, bowel and uterus in women.

Having strong pelvic floor muscles gives us control over the bladder and bowel and supports the uterus in women. Weak pelvic floor muscles mean the internal organs are not fully supported and you may have trouble controlling the release of urine, faeces or wind. The muscles of the pelvic floor also work with the abdominal and back muscles to stabilise and support the spine.

Strong pelvic floor muscles are therefore really important for everyone, but especially pregnant women as they provide support for the baby during pregnancy and assist in the birthing process. The pelvic floor muscles will undergo a great deal of stretching and possible tearing during a vaginal birth. Therefore, the stronger these muscles are at the outset, the easier the birthing process and the quicker the recovery.

Unfortunately, the first time I meet many many women is when they are in the post natal period and suffering with poor bladder control which can be embarrassing, upsetting and limiting on their daily activities. The good news is, you can strengthen these muscles, regain control and get back to doing all the things you love with regular pelvic floor exercises as taught in Pilates.

“Clare explained the pelvic floor exercises and guided me through the movements. At first I found it incredibly difficult to engage any muscles, but thanks to her I understood the principles. Within three sessions I really felt a difference in my body and a control of muscles I had lost since giving birth. So much so I had a go at jumping on a trampoline!” – Helen, mother of 2yr old twins

Clare offers group Pilates classes for new Mums (and their babies!) at various locations in Brighton. She also offers private sessions for those who want or need individual attention and ‘Pre Exercise’ assessments for those seeking guidance on safely returning to exercise after having their baby.