Testimonials: Pre and/or Post Natal Pilates

Jill Compton

By six weeks I was much stronger and happier, I felt like my old self again.
Having had my second baby by C-section due to a breech position, I wasn’t sure how to approach exercising again. I didn’t want to do any damage jumping back in too quickly but my body ached all over and I felt like I needed to start moving again to get myself back to full strength. I knew I needed some one-on-one training to teach me what I could and couldn’t do and I needed someone who specialised in post c-section. I came across the Mama Restore programme and decided to make the commitment once a week to get my confidence back. Denise gave me the knowledge and confidence to start exercising again and I was amazed how quickly I was able to progress from the basics to doing a full hours intense workout. I felt better and better at each class and by six weeks I was much stronger and happier, I felt like my old self again. I can’t thank Denise enough for giving me the support and guidance I needed post c-section, it’s the perfect kick start for anyone looking to start exercising again whilst being mindful of what your body has been through.

Karin Jacobs

Recovery from my c-section was smoother and faster than expected and I’ve since lost all my pregnancy weight and then some!

When I fell pregnant I knew I had to do something as I was quite unfit and very aware of the impact pregnancy would have on my body. Having no former experience with pilates I decided to give it a go.

The classes at Core Restore are small and intimate and I was very impressed with the extra assistance and support we received which ensured I was doing the exercises correctly. The intimate knowledge Denise has of the different muscle groups in relation to pregnancy and what to do and what not to do made me feel that my baby and I were in safe hands. I was happily surprised that I had less of the aches and pains I always hear other woman complain about and by the time baby arrived my body, and especially those baby-carrying muscles, were ready and strong. Recovery from my c-section was smoother and faster than expected and I’ve since lost all my pregnancy weight and then some!

Thank you Denise for your wonderful spirit and passion!

Jodie House

Since doing Pilates I have much more body awareness and my hips are no longer out of alignment

I started Pilates with Denise about 3 years ago. In my initial consultation with her she checked my midline (which no one previous had done as I had had a baby about a year before) which was fine but my hips were out from carrying my daughter. Denise showed me how to carry her properly without compromising my posture. Since doing Pilates I have much more body awareness and my hips are no longer out of alignment! I thoroughly enjoy the classes with denise, they are fun, interesting and varied and Pilates has become part of my life!
Jodie aged 32

Debbie de Beer

4 weeks after my baby was born, my stomach was pretty much back to normal!

When I was 12 weeks pregnant I heard via word of mouth about the pregnancy Pilates class that Denise was running.
I called her up about it and she asked to meet me for an assessment before I started classes. I went through on a Saturday morning and had a very pleasant meeting with Denise. She is highly trained in the field of exercise during pregnancy, specifically in Pilates, and I appreciated her knowledgeable advice. She explained in detail about the hormones released during pregnancy and how this affects our ligaments and muscles. It was wonderful to know I was going to be in safe hands during my fit pregnancy!

I started attending her classes the next week and I continued right up until the week before I was due! In addition to teaching us exercises that we should do during pregnancy, she also taught us about what we should not do! I think these gems of information are the reason that 4 weeks after my baby was born, my stomach was pretty much back to normal! Knowledge is power and Denise offers the complete package, a powerful, feel-good Pilates class, coupled with precious information to help you make the best choices for your body and your baby during your pregnancy. Furthermore, I made some of my closest mommy friends with the other girls in the class. All in all a lovely experience at a very reasonable rate. I highly recommend doing this programme.

Mariska Laubscher

I remember feeling like a new person after every class.

I met Denise while I was pregnant with my now 7 month old son. Being a sport lover I was looking to do some exercise during my pregnancy. I am not a doctor but do have some background in biology and understand a little bit of our how our bodies work and function. I wanted to make sure that I end up doing the correct exercises and not hurt myself or my baby. You know we all want healthy babies and our pre-pregnancy bodies back after labour.

When I first phoned Denise she offered to meet with me one-on-one, which I really appreciated, it made me feel that although there are many pregnant woman out there she cares about me and wants to help me. During our meeting her caring and loving personality made me feel welcome and she had no hesitation sharing all her knowledge with me. Her knowledge stretches far more than just a Pilates instructor. I always looked forward to our classes and never wanted to miss one class. She always had something interesting to share with us, whether it was just a story or an important fact to take note of.

Throughout our classes she made sure that everyone did the movements correct according to which trimester they found themselves to be in. She made it her work to find out about any health related problems before each class to ensure that she keep an even closer eye on you with every movement. I never felt that she had push me to hard. I remember feeling like a new person after every class. Our class was small and intimate, yet professional. I attendant her classes till 39 weeks, and my boy was born 2 days short of 40 weeks.

Before I started training with Denise I had a fear of giving birth, worried that my body is not strong enough, regardless of normal or c-section (people make it out to be the easy way out but it still is a massive operation and your body still needs to be strong). The morning when I went in for an emergency c-section I had no doubt in my mind that my body is strong enough, because I knew the training I did with Denise, carried me through my pregnancy and will help my body now during c-section and during recovery. Back at home, again Denise went the extra mile to come and visit me at home, she checked for diastasis recti and gave me some exercises to do for a quick recovery.

If I could I would tell every single pregnant lady to go to Denise, whether it is for advice or exercise, she can help. Her warm, caring personality and wisdom is something every woman should experience during pregnancy. Denise thank you for what you have done for me, you will definitely see me again, rather sooner than later.

Tracy Dale

I still continue to do the exercises not only for my core but also as a relaxing technique after a hard day.

I received a voucher for a gift to take part in Denise’s “Holistic Core Restore Programme” shortly after my little one was born. I had no clue about that fact that your muscles split during pregnancy or the fact that you need to help knit them back together afterwards to ensure you do not get a hernia or other related injuries. The programme was not what I was expecting at all. It was simple, relaxed and easy to follow whilst still working your muscles. Denise explained everything in detail as we went through the programme and made sure that I understood what I was doing and why I was doing it.

I still continue to do the exercises not only for my core but also as a relaxing technique after a hard day. They are simple and I spend around 10-15 min concentrating on them each evening. Thank you so much for everything.

Diastasis Recti / Separation of the Midline (Post Natal)

Staci Brits

I immediately saw results after just one week of the programme and I went from quite a gap to almost no gap at all in the month.

By chance I saw a post on Facebook regarding Diastasis Recti which Denise had posted and I couldn’t believe that this bulge in my stomach actually had a name and that it wouldn’t in fact go away on its own. I immediately called Denise to find out more about it and made my first appointment. I was aware of the bulge (which I’d had since my daughter was born 2 and a half years ago) but didn’t think too much about it as no one had ever mentioned it to me.

When I went to see Denise for my first appointment, she was incredibly knowledgeable and she explained everything to me, word for word! She is very gentle yet so effective in her method and I immediately saw results after just one week of the programme and I went from quite a gap to almost no gap at all in the month that I saw Denise. The key is to continue doing the exercises that Denise shows you outside of your appointments and what a difference it will make, I no longer suffer with backache and the constant headaches have improved tremendously, my posture is by far so much better as my core is now stronger and I don’t think I’ve ever seen my tummy so flat! I feel amazing and it’s all thanks to Denise.

Maura McDuling

She is very loyal and your are not just another number for Denise, you are her client and she cares.

After 2 x C-Sections within 2 years, frustratingly my mummy tummy just would not go back down and I remembered that my gynae had told me while I was pregnant that I had a diastasis recti but every time I mentioned it in the gym none of the trainers knew what it was or what I could and could not do to heal it. On the internet there is so much information it was just overwhelming so I contacted Denise through her website an she got back in touch very quickly to make an appointment so I was instantly impressed. It is important to have one person to tell you what is and is not the case for your specific requirements. When I got to the studio she immediately calmed my nerves and checked my abdominal split, indicating that it was rather grave, even to the extent that she was impressed that I hadn’t given myself a hernia, and she reassured me that with her help I would heal my stomach gap and get back into shape slowly but surely.

After just one week and two appointments with Denise I already felt so much better, and the results were showing when Denise checked the gap after each session. This itself was so encouraging and the fact that friends and colleagues were already noticing the difference, even just in the way I was holiding myself, was even more motivating. Denise really cares about her clients and how they develop and heal and really helps to adjust your daily routines in order to strengthen your core and therefore ultimitely heal your diastasis.

During the course she adds in extra excercises as and when she feels you are ready, so as to push you to where you need to get to, but not too fast like the trainers had done with me in the gym sessions I had tried before CORE RESTORE. Denise really pays attention to detail, which is what is required, as I learned that even the unconscious way you breath, stand, and your stress levels help and hinder your healing.

I feel very comfortable around Denise and she answers any questions or doubts I have, even post workshop. She tells you straight where you need to work harder and encourages you when you are doing well. I feel I can message her at any point to ask her to check out how my diastasis is healing, even after not seeing her for a while. She is very loyal and your are not just another number for Denise, you are her client and she cares.

I would seriously advise anyone who needs help with a diastasis to contact Denise at Core Restore because every case is different, and you need someone to guide you in the right direction, someone to give you the correct information and someone else to care for your wellbeing enough to send you messages to remind you to do your much needed daily excercises!

Chantalle Senekal

Now when I exercise I know exactly what moves to avoid in making the diastasis worse and what moves to do to bring my muscles together to close the gap.

After delivering my 3,98 kg baby via c-section, my tummy muscles “tore”. I could feel that my muscles felt loose and I could also feel a separation (like a hole) in my mid line. I found out about the diastasis repair exercise classes that Denise was giving and I decided to give it a go. Meeting Denise was lovely. Her warm and caring personality made me feel so at ease and her knowledge and passion on diastasis and how to heal it was evident. The one to one lessons I had with her armed me with the knowledge and confidence to carry on with my diastasis repair exercises at home. She made me a comprehensive file with everything that I needed. Her lessons and personal approach are wonderful and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to repair their diastasis gap and wanting to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles as well as core. Now when I exercise I know exactly what moves to avoid in making the diastasis worse and what moves to do to bring my muscles together to close the gap. Thanks for everything Denise!

Melanie Floor

The Diastasis program and Pilates lessons have been an absolute life-changer for me.

Denise came highly recommended by a nurse at Storks Nest who commented on my bad posture when I walked in for a check-up with my son, after my second pregnancy. More curious than knowing about any possible physical condition, I went for the introduction lesson with Denise where she showed me that I had a diastasis recti. I had never heard of it and was stunned – I had exercised throughout both my pregnancies up until 3 days prior to the C-sections and was back at gym 6 weeks after birth, will all my pregnancy weight gone, both times. In hindsight, it made sense as my tummy did not seem to go back as easily after the second pregnancy as the first time and despite my frequent gym sessions, I experienced a lot of back pain (I have a scoliosis) which I used to be able to control with exercise, but it did not work anymore.

Although I kind of knew that there was something wrong and it made sense what Denise told me, I was very sceptical at first and it was extremely hard for me not to gym and wait for it to heal whilst following the Diastasis program Denise suggested. However, I soon started to realise the change in my body and the positive effect it had on my posture and my well-being.

I love working with Denise, I like her structured approach, and the discipline in doing the various exercises resonates with my personality. I got hooked! I continued working with Denise and I am seeing her twice a week for private Pilates sessions. I had done Pilates overseas before so I had a very good idea about what to expect and I was able to recognise the professional, high level of Pilates Denise is teaching.

She also helps me a lot by adjusting the Pilates lessons to my physical conditions and limitations. I feel very privileged to be able to train with Denise, not only the Diastasis program but especially the Pilates lessons have been an absolute life-changer for me. I am addicted and probably her biggest fan! I admire Denise’s discipline and precision, she is more than a Pilates teacher, she has become a mentor to me. I cannot recommend Denise highly enough and besides her knowledge and skill, she is a wonderful woman and a mother herself, so she understands what a pregnancy means to a woman’s body from a medical point of view as well as from a woman’s point of view.

Chelain Sawyer

Every experience going forward was a one on one personal experience and much to my amazement within 3 weeks of proper training my “gap” went from 3cm to 1cm with very good tension in the muscles.

After having my son I tried everything to get rid of the “baby pouch” that you are left with after child birth, especially having had an emergency C-section, ab challenges, eating changes etc etc… NOTHING WORKED. I became part of a group on facebook for new moms and upon reading some of the posts came across a comment by Core Restore (Denise) on a post in which she mentioned Diastasis Recti. I googled this (as I do with everything) and found a few options on how to fix the condition, the most drastic of which was surgery (something I did not want to go through) along with exercises to fix the condition, but which could take months to fix. Needless to say I wasn’t a happy chappy at this stage, but I contacted Denise anyway because you need to start somewhere.

I had never done any form of pilates before so didn’t really know what to expect, but upon entering the studio was very much welcomed by Denise. Every experience going forward was a one on one personal experience and much to my amazement within 3 weeks of proper training my “gap” went from 3cm to 1cm with very good tension in the muscles.

What I loved the most was that not only did Denise concentrate on the gap but other portions of the body that contributed towards the worsening of the gap, so she went further then just fixing the “gap” but actually looked around to correct the main problems as well (this included eating, posture etc). She also regularly followed up to see progress and still does (even though the last session I had was 3 months ago).

If you want to repair your injury in a comfortable (but stern) environment Denise is the person to go to.

Shannon McLaughlin

It’s given me so much more confidence to keep on and I just know that by summer time I’m going to be back in my bikini and able to enjoy life at the beach with my son again, without feeling embarressed by the way I look.

I remember the day that I knew something wasn’t quite right with my tummy. I had just had a hot shower and the area around my belly button region was so blotchy and red and just felt like jelly. I knew something was wrong, being 12 weeks postpartum and still looking 4 months pregnant. I had always had a super flat tummy, and although I had a big baby of 4,1 kg’s, my tummy should’ve been flatter by now.

I turned to google as I usually do for everything and I came across a Youtube video that showed you how to self check for diastasis recti – I did the test and when I felt how large my gap was, I burst into tears. I felt completely broken! I felt like I had been sewn back together all wrong and that I was going to look like that forever. Thankfully I found Denise and she calmed me down very quickly. I signed up for her Core Restore program and after the first class I could already feel the difference. The C-Section massage she did was unbelievable and gave me so much relief within just 45 minutes. It was actually very emotional for me!

It has been a long journey for me, overcoming postnatal depression at the same time, I haven’t had much physical energy, but Denise kept me going. I don’t even consider her to be my teacher, she is more like my friend who really wants me to heal and she is there for me to keep pushing me to do my best.

My gap was very severe, over 4 fingers wide, and to be honest I never really believed it would heal. After the first few weeks of seeing Denise, my back pain and foot pain had dramatically decreased, but I still had a big wobbly tummy. She encouraged me and promised me that I would not need surgery to heal and just to have faith and keep doing my breathing and my exercizes at home. She even showed me how I need to lift my son in and out of the bath so as not to damage it further. Eventually I stopped measuring the gap as I just didn’t believe it would close. I accepted the fact that at least I was now pain free and I could just wear Spanx for the rest of my life…

However, to my absolute joy – I was lying in bed on my back about 2 weeks ago and as I lifted my head to lean over and take a sip of water, I felt something – MY ABS!! Hang on, that’s new I thought! I decided to check my gap and I could not believe the difference – my gap is still there, but it’s less than half the size and I can’t believe how hard my tummy muscles have become. It’s given me so much more confidence to keep on and I just know that by summer time I’m going to be back in my bikini and able to enjoy life at the beach with my son again, without feeling embarressed by the way I look.

I cannot thank Denise enough for being so passionate about the work that she does and the difference she has made to my life.

Pelvic Floor/Bladder (Post Natal)

Heléne Fischer

I liked her confident warm manner and her understanding from a medical and physiological approach made her seem more like a body scientist than just a trainer.

I first saw Denise at her studio when I was 7 months pregnant. I went to see her as a tag along with my dear friend Shannon who found Denise to help her heal her diastastis recti after her pregnancy.

I watched as Denise did her examination on Shannon. She assessed the separation of the stomach muscles. I liked her confident warm manner and her understanding from a medical and physiological approach made her seem more like a body scientist than just a trainer.

It was there that I realized that Denise could be my answer to strengthening my pelvic floor after my pregnancy. I was carrying my second baby and was well aware of the difficulty I experienced after my first child with leaks every time I sneezed or coughed or jumped up too quickly or launched into a run. The worst was wanting to jump with Sienna on a trampoline when she was 3 years old and even the gentle up and down pressure was too much for my foo-foo.

I arranged with Denise to see her after my pregnancy to bring my body back to strength and hopefully experience a stronger foo after this second baby.

2014 November the 24th at 5:10 pm Scarlett was born at home, a healthy 4.3 kilo baby.

In February 2015 I started seeing Denise for my private 4th trimester training. At my first class I felt hard done by and was feeling very sorry for myself. I struggled with my balance and strength and the mental stamina. I could feel Denise knew what she was doing and I made a commitment to just try stick it out. Denise was more passionate about reclaiming the condition of my body than I was. She sent me home with pilaties equipment and a verbal of homework exercises which she even WhatsApp’d me the following day. I was like “are you for real chick” I am paying you, be nice to me – haha.

I stuck it out and did as much of the WhatsApp homework as possible. I especially found the pelvic floor training while driving to be a clever use of unproductive time.

Two months on I graduated my private 4th trimester training. Star jumps… and no leaks.

I filtered into her scheduled classes and have been with Denise for 6 months now and have never had a better stomach, legs and bum. I always used to get a bunch up of muscle mass when I flexed my stomach, it’s now a flat flexed tummy. I like seeing myself in the mirror and can’t thank Denise enough for being the die-hard fitness scientist that she is.

She gave me more than trampolines and star jumps, she has given me a healthy mental attitude. Her pilaties classes are “my time” the hour when I switch off from the world and all my multitasking responsibilities and invest in myself.

Thank you – my extraordinary Denise.

X Heléne

P.s. Charlie loves your work 😉

Dorothy Breed

I found her so knowledgeable and passionate about her field.

Pregnancy hit my body hard, I had never realised how early your body starts taking strain. I have a very physical job, and realised that I would have to do something to strengthen, protect my body and my unborn child especially if I planned to keep working. When I came across Denise’s pregnancy classes I thought I would go for one session and see what it was like. I found her so knowledgeable and passionate about her field. The classes were also in tune with you and your changing body. It made you more aware of your physical abilities, limitations and how to protect your body from injury. I realised it was the only authentic pregnancy class in the area and kept going right up till I gave birth.

Denise also provided me with post birthing exercises that I attribute my remarkably quick recovery to. I shudder to think and see what exercises pregnant women do, not knowing what permanent harm they can cause themselves and possibly their baby. We are planning a second one and there is no doubt in my mind that her classes will be a vital part of my pregnancy.

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