One on one with client, Rebecca Sarnicola.
How did you get started with Pilates?
Pilates was introduced to me by a personal trainer I knew while at school in Boston (2005). When her gym started introducing pilates classes to clients, (being the workout enthusiast that I am) I jumped right on the opportunity. I fell in love with pilates on that first session.
Overall, how was your pregnancy?
Conceiving was not easy for my husband and I. We waited a long time (ready for IVF) before we got pregnant. So, we took it as a miracle when it finally happened. I think this made my pregnancy easier for me, at least mentally. But don’t get me wrong, the first three months was an adjustment and the rest of the months was a journey. However, I kept active. I worked out 5 days a week. Eventually, exercise felt like comfort. Endorphins helped me a whole ton and staying active made me feel strong and made the 9 months fly by.
Do you think that committing to prenatal Pilates helped you throughout your pregnancy and labor/delivery?
Let’s just say I texted Sandi a few days after delivery, first to cancel my session (I gave birth 3 weeks earlier and had a session booked) and second to thank her for helping me throughout my pregnancy. I say this because I knew Pilates helped me stay strong during pregnancy and delivery. Going through pregnancy the first time can be filled anxiety for the unknown. Not to mention, your body changes dramatically for nine months straight and then you have to push a baby out at the end of it.
Pilates helped me stay present. It helped me focus on strengthening my body to minimize the strain of pregnancy and taught me how to work muscles that would eventually help me during delivery. Because I practiced all throughout the nine months, when it was time to give birth, I could say that it was easier than I thought it would be. I was more aware of my body and how to engage the right muscles to help me push a giant baby out!
Now that you are a new mom, what are the biggest challenges you’ve had to face?
Being a mom is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. However, adjusting to becoming one is a big challenge. My experience so far is overwhelming. All the new responsibilities that comes with it like breastfeeding every 2-3 hours, sleepless nights, anxiety from “Is my baby okay? Is he breathing?”, and all the other new mom problems…is a lot to handle.
How are you adjusting?
I think the biggest challenge of a new mom (besides just pushing a giant baby out of a tiny hole) is finding and trusting that your mommy instinct is the best out there. It’s overwhelming when a million people have their own opinion on what to do post partum, how to take care of your baby, and if you should breastfeed or not. It took me a while to separate myself from the noise and just learn to take it day by day and trust my own instincts. At the end of the day, you know what’s best for your baby and growing family.
How did your body feel returning to Pilates for the first time after giving birth? Was it difficult to motivate yourself to return?
I couldnt wait to get cleared for exercise after 6 weeks! I can’t speak for everyone, but I always need to move and sweat and feel strong. So after 6 weeks of adjusting to a new baby, I couldn’t wait to go back to the gym and the studio! However, I had to remind myself that just like pregnancy, it will be a journey back to my body pre pregnancy. Although staying active throughout my pregnancy helped me maintain the weight gain to 18lbs, my body still changed in ways I never imagined. But I used that as motivation to go back to being strong and feeling good about my body. One thing I learned throughout this experience is that a woman’s body is so beautiful and incredible. Our bodies are built to endure things we didn’t know we are capable of.
Is there any advice you would give to a first time mom?!
Motherhood is such a special experience! That by itself is something we should all always remind ourselves everyday. Just be present and enjoy every moment of it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t breastfeed, or if you co-sleep, or if you have to go back to work, at the end of the day we are all mommies to a beautiful baby who will love us unconditionally. Just trust your mommy instincts and take it one day at a time. It’s such a beautiful journey! Enjoy and have fun!
The Pilates Project is now offering Ab Rehab, a monthly postnatal workshop specifically designed for moms…
Ease back into your workout safely in this one hour Postnatal Pilates workshop! Having a baby is an incredible feat and challenges your body to the max. In this workshop we will explore common conditions associated with pregnancy/postpartum & what it takes to start your recovery process. The hour will focus on safe exercises for the abdominals and pelvic floor, regaining strength in your arms, legs and upper back and realigning your hips. You will also learn how to discover and help heal Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) or “mummy tummy”, a common condition that effects many new moms. This workshop will help you bring your whole body back into alignment and balance and give you the strength you need to move throughout your day.