Avant-Barre + Pregnancy

Happy Mother's Day to all our badass ballerinas! There was something in the water last year, when we met a ton of new moms and moms-to-be. One of the most frequently asked questions is "Can I take Avant-Barre while pregnant?" The answer is YES.

"Avant-Barre is one of the few workouts that I've ever been able to stick with thanks to the great teachers, music and challenging workout. I've seen great results even before pregnancy so I wanted to continue with it as best as I could even during the pregnancy," says Jaimie, an Avant-Barre enthusiast since 2013. 

Read on for her experience taking classes during her first pregnancy, plus find exercises to pay special attention to in class to strengthen and prepare for labor. 

AB: What other forms of exercise did you use to supplement? 

J: Lots of walking -- at least 20 minutes a day, two to four days a week. I also found prenatal yoga videos on YouTube that I did once or twice a week to supplement Avant-Barre workouts.

AB: Does anything from class translate to the delivery room? 

J: Breathing! Focusing on my breathing helped me stay focused during delivery and kept my mind off the pain. Overall, from class I've gained a good sense of how my body moves and find different positions that can alleviate pain and pressure. Understanding how to position myself and continue moving during delivery helped me work through the pain and get the baby out quickly. 

AB: You've been attending class twice a week since you had your baby. How is Avant-Barre helping you post-delivery?  

J: I immediately started going back to Avant-Barre as soon as I was cleared by the dr. I've been going 3 times a week as often as possible and I'm starting to see that extra weight melt off. It's a work in progress! It's also helping me keep a positive outlook and gives me something else to focus on aside from the baby. As much as I love spending time with the little one, I do enjoy the break I get from mom duties to focus on building my strength again.

AB: Any health tips or lessons learned in the past 3 months? 

J: Be smart about indulging in cravings. Find healthy alternatives to sweet cravings -- my weakness!

Avant-Barre instructor and fitness veteran Lex shares 3 exercises that help mommies-to-be prepare for labor. 

  • Squats (Upright or Pullaway): to 90 degree bend at hips and knees only. It's good to strengthen your squat position so that it's available to use comfortably during labor. But be sure not to go deeper than 90 degrees until labor is underway! Once labor has started, a full, deep squat can be beneficial. 
  • Forearm Plank (on Toes or Knees): is an exercise that can usually be performed comfortably throughout most of pregnancy. It's excellent for core strengthening, especially if combined with Kegels... and good preparation for laboring in a hands and knees position. 
  • Puppy Stretch: can provide back relief late in pregnancy and during labor. 

How has Avant-Barre helped you during your pregnancy or after having your child? Share below!

*Avant-Barre reminds you that every body is different. Check in with your healthcare professional before starting a new exercise regimen during pregnancy. Please bring a doctor's note clearing you for exercise to your first class!