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A review of the online Postnatal Pialtes DVD

The online APPI Postnatal Pilates DVD is a comprehensive collection of four workout videos that have been developed by an APPI Women’s Health Specialist Megan Vickers in association with Tatiana Korsakova; the founder of Vaara (an active wear brand). Tatiana is a model and entrepreneur and began working with Megan following the birth of her second daughter.

The videos are separated into four stages of 1) Getting started, 2) Core abdominals 3) Lower body focus 4) Upper body focus. This allows you to learn the fundamentals with the first video and then select which workout you wish to focus on if time is short, or you can play the whole workout together.

Megan takes you through each workout by demonstrating the exercises on Tatiana. She explains the aim of each exercise first ie “to strengthen the inner core abdominal muscles”, but also provides a clinical relation to the exercise ie “to restore balance between your abdominals and lower back pain which may help with pelvic girdle pain”. This provides clarity and education so that you know exactly why you’re doing those specific exercises and can keep note perhaps of any that relate to your clinical condition (if you have one).

Her teaching style is relaxed and friendly and her voice is so easy to listen to! Once Megan has guided you into your initial exercise, she then provides technique cues to keep you on track, and careful instruction on how to progress the exercise, if suitable.

The workouts are suitable to commence at any stage postnatally, once any pregnancy and birth complications have abolished, pain has eased, and you feel ready to return to gentle exercise. The first video “Getting Started” is especially useful in the first 6 weeks postpartum and can be commenced from the very beginning. Although targeted for this early stage, the videos offer excellent guidance for restoring your whole body strength and recruiting muscles correctly, therefore making them a perfect starting point in returning to exercise at any time.

I began following the programme at 12 weeks postpartum as a way to ease myself back into exercise. Prior to this I had been doing some basic core and pelvic floor muscle exercises. I wanted to educate my body to move correctly using the right muscles and movement patterns before commencing any other form of exercise and these videos were the perfect way to achieve this. Having these short videos to complete meant I could fit them in around caring for my new baby (and around his schedule!) in the comfort of my living room! I found I was much more likely to do them as I could leave my laptop out so it was accessible whenever I got my baby settled. I felt very relaxed listening to Megan and her hands-on feedback to Tatiana also guided me to the correct position and what I should be aiming to achieve with my exercises.

Although I am now beyond the initial postpartum stage, I am still finding these videos useful as a reminder to my posture, my core and pelvic floor muscle activation, and as a way to continue to keep this all in check. I apply Megan’s tips when I’m completing other exercises now such as lifting weights and I believe she has made a huge difference to my posture, as well as my awareness in ensuring my body is fully prepared before I even lift the weight! This has given me my confidence back with exercising as I know what to watch out for, and how to avoid any postpartum complications with exercise.