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Mommy and Baby Pilates: Time To Tone, Time To Bond

By HERWriter
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time to tone and bond with mom and baby Pilates Jupiterimages/Comstock/Thinkstock

So you are a new mom and you are struggling with balancing time for exercise and play time for baby. Why not combine the two?

I have a six-month-old and find that he loves to be entertained with movement both for me and him!

One of the exercises I found helpful in getting my strength back has been Pilates. As a certified Pilates instructor I was able to regain my core strength and flexibility significantly.
According to the Pilates Method Alliance, “Pilates is a method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body.”

I use some of my Pilates moves with Baby Robert. According to Babycenter.com, “You'll find you have renewed energy for yourself and your baby if you make time for even short bursts of exercise.”

As always, make sure you are in a baby-safe environment and are strong enough to secure baby while doing these movements. Here are some of my exercises.

Baby Roll Downs

Sit on floor in an upright position with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bend your arms in front of you, holding baby.

Inhale to prepare, then exhale and pull your navel in toward your spine. Work to round your spine into the letter “C” again keeping your gaze looking downward toward baby.

Inhale to prepare, than exhale engaging your abdominals and bringing yourself back up to your staring position.

Repeat 6-10 times

Baby Roll-Ups (once you’ve mastered the Baby Roll Down)

Lie on your back with your legs straight and stretch your arms directly over your shoulders while holding baby. Squeeze your adductors (inner thighs) in tightly and flex your feet.

The roll-up happens in this particular sequence:

Bring your chin towards your chest in a slight nod, lift your chest towards your ribs, now curve as you lift your ribs over your stomach, then reach your stomach over your hips and over your thighs.

Exhale as you stretch forward from your hips, while pulling your navel toward your spine.

Inhale prepare, pull the navel in even further and reverse the movement as you articulate that spine back down, one vertebrae at a time.

Baby Core Squats

Start with your feet placed wider than hip distance apart with knees slightly bent. Hold baby in front of you with arms bent in front of your chest.

Inhale as you slowly bend down into a squat position while pressing the baby straight out in front of you. You should also pull your belly button in towards your spine as you inhale.

Exhale as you return to the starting position, pulling your navel in even deeper.

Repeat 6-10 times.

Baby Bridges

Lie on your back with knees bent and baby against your thighs. Make sure your knees are aligned with your hips.

While maintaining neutral spine, inhale and engage your glutes as you lift up through the heels. Use your glutes and abs together, as you lengthen your tailbone toward the back of your knees.

Exhale as you roll back down to the ground, articulating the spine to the mat as your upper back, mid back, low back, and finally tailbone comes back to the mat.

Repeat 6-10 times.


“Eight Ways to Find Time To Exercise – Babycenter.com.” Baby Center. Web 16 Oct. 2012.

“An Exercise in Balance: The Pilates Phenomenon – PilatesMethodAlliance.org.” Pilates Method Alliance. Web 16 Oct. 2012.

Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.

Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com/

She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and son, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.

Reviewed October 17, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment3 Comments

I wasn't aware of Mommy and Me type Pilates classes until I did an internship with a physical therapist who was also a Pilates instructor. After she told me more about this technique, I have to say I thought it was ingenious.

I can only imagine how the bond improves between the baby and mom with classes like this and of course being a health and fitness fanatic, I always encourage people to get involved with something that helps their fitness level...especially after having a child.

This is an excellent article to get the word out to new moms. Thank you for sharing.

November 12, 2012 - 4:11pm
EmpowHER Guest

Great discovery. This will be really useful for recovering moms. The truth is, exercise is the fastest way for moms to recover and be back on track. Due to pregnancy and childbirth, their physical activity was hampered thereby decreasing use of muscles. Exercise makes these muscles functional again.

October 22, 2012 - 11:39pm

Exercising with my kids when they were real little especially doing the mommy and me swim lessons are some of my best memories when they were that small. Thanks for brightening my day remembering those moments!

Marielaina Perrone DDS
Henderson Dentist

October 17, 2012 - 9:33am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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