Pregnacy and Pilates: A candid Conversation with In a Space Pilates and Yoga Owner, Micheala Kaplan

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Dear Readers:

Perhaps without Miki’s knowledge, I have always had great admiration for her. Years ago, when I first walked into the Pilates studio to start my prac teaching, I was terrified that I was going to break someone. Miki calmed with with her kind and reassuring smile, and over time, she has become a treasured colleague and friend. Our lives have changed throughout our friendship and working relationship, but my admiration for her both as a professional and a woman (and now a mum!) has remained and grown stronger. South African born and New Zealand bred, Micheala Kaplan is the owner of In a Space Pilates and Yoga as well as a professional dancer and a devoted wife and mother.  Today, it is my pleasure to profile this powerhouse and appreciate her candid and inspiring views on pregnancy, post-bum bub bodies and the best thing you can give your child.

Being a fit, healthy and strong woman, how did your body cope with pregnancy? What were the changes that you loved and the others that you didn’t love so much?

Admittedly I didn’t love being pregnant as I found it hard not feeling in “charge” of your body.  That said, the physical/visual changes I didn’t mind so much, I think a pregas body is so beautiful, but the hormones and squashing of organs I didn’t enjoy.

What was your exercise regime whilst pregnant? How often did you practice Pilates?

I maintained one studio session and one mat class at home, and loads of walks on the beach.

Personal question; what was your birthing experience like? Did you find the your Pilates practice assisted the process?

I feel like I had two birth experiences in one. A very calm, intimate start in the bath at the birth centre for 13 hours that was followed  by a very medical, impersonal emergency cesarean. Pilates gives you a great sense of body awareness and strength that absolutely assisted the process as well as recovery.

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How long did you wait until you first started to exercise post birth?

It was between two and three months.

Did you feel any pressure to “get your body back”?

Not at all! I was desperate to move, but more for mental sanity.

You teach a wonderful mum and bubs Pilates class. What do you find is the biggest misconception women think about their bodies pre and postnatally?

That once the pregnancy and birth are over so is the toll on the body.  I think we totally underestimate the physical demand on a postnatal body. The breasting for hours on end whilst hunched and slouched in bed or on the couch, lifting a 10kilo pram or a heavy car capsule in and out of the car on top of general loss of posture, strength and mental clarity due to sleep deprivation! It all adds up!

How do you feel about your body after bub?

I definitely have more respect for my body. I feel stronger in a different way than before. On a more vain note, I wouldn’t mind having my boobs back to pre-Bub though (laughs).

What does the term “healthy” body mean to you?

I consider a healthy body to be one that functions efficiently without regular sickness or unnecessary aches and pains. That and lots of calm energy!

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A lot of mums put their needs at the bottom of the list. How important do you feel it is for mums to take a little time for themselves?

Happy healthy sane mum equals a happy Bub!

What is the best piece of advice you were given about becoming a mum?

Love is the one of the most valuable things you can provide your child.

Thank you so much, Miki!

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