With appropriate training and the go-ahead from your doctor, there is no reason to stop your regular practice. Pilates is one of the most highly-recommended forms of exercise during pregnancy and postpartum.
We offer pre-natal and post-natal Pilates classes specifically designed to address the changes a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy and birth.
The Benefits of Pregnancy Pilates
Along with the broad range of mental and physical benefits Pilates offers, there are some unique advantages to practising Pilates during pregnancy and after you give birth.
Read on to learn some of the top benefits of prenatal and postnatal Pilates.
1. Improved Posture
Practising Pilates during pregnancy can be a great way to improve your posture and keep your muscles lengthened and strong instead of tightened and shortened. Improved posture can also help your body manage the stress of pregnancy on your joints and muscles.
2. Reduced Back Pain
Back pain is a common pregnancy complaint. By strengthening the core, working to maintain proper posture, and gaining deeper body awareness, Pilates can help you adapt to your changing body and reduce back pain.
3. Decreased Stress
Pregnancy can add mental and physical stress to your body. Pilates can help promote a calmer, more relaxed mind and help ease tense muscles in the shoulder, neck, and back.
4. Improved Breathing Control
Breathing is a core focus of Pilates, especially prenatal Pilates classes. Learning to connect with your breath and control your breathing is an amazing way to prepare for labour. Pilates also helps ease tension, relaxing your rib cage and allowing you to take deeper breaths.
5. Strengthened Core Muscles
The core muscles undergo massive stress and transformation during pregnancy and labour. During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is released. As implied by its name, relaxin makes your ligaments more flexible in preparation for birth.
This increased flexibility lengthens the ligaments and can contribute to lower back pain and pelvic pain. Strengthening the deep core muscles helps counteract ligament laxity and may help prevent or reduce low back and pelvic pain during pregnancy.
6. Diastasis Recti Prevention
Keeping your core muscles strong can also help reduce the severity of diastasis recti, a condition that affects around ⅔ of pregnant women.
Diastasis recti result from internal pressure on the abdominal muscles from the growing baby. This pressure can lead to a gap at the linea alba, the thin band of connective tissue that runs down the front of the abdominal muscles.
Note: The wrong type of movement can increase the severity of Diastasis Recti, making it important to work with a trained professional who understands which exercises may worsen the condition.
7. Stronger Pelvic Floor
Along with the incredible strain placed on the core muscles during pregnancy and birth, the pelvic floor also undergoes a great deal of stress.
Think of the pelvic floor as a hammock-type support that sits under your pelvis, helping to hold up your bowel, bladder, and internal organs. If your pelvic floor is weak, the risk of incontinence increases during and after pregnancy.
8. Low Impact Yet Effective
During pregnancy or postpartum recovery, Pilates offers a gentle yet incredibly effective way to challenge and tone the muscles. Whereas many higher-impact exercises are not suitable for pregnancy, Pilates is gentle, low-impact, easy on the joints, and can be modified to suit all levels of your pregnancy or postpartum recovery.
9. Stronger Chest and Back Muscles
Pilates is excellent for strengthening the upper back and chest muscles. Keeping these muscles strong will help you go about daily activities such as carrying your baby, feeding your baby, and pushing a stroller comfortably and safely.
10. Improved Balance
Pregnancy causes changes to your weight distribution, leading to an increased chance of feeling more unstable, clumsy, or prone to falling. Pilates builds core strength and balances to help you adapt to changes in weight distribution and maintain better balance throughout your pregnancy.
11. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Weight gain is a completely normal part of pregnancy, but it is important to maintain a healthy weight. Gaining more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy puts a woman at a higher risk of gestational diabetes. Pilates can help you feel great throughout your pregnancy and ensure you stay within healthy weight guidelines.
12. Stronger Legs
During pregnancy, women may experience varicose veins, leg cramps, and fluid retention. Strong legs can help reduce the risk of these conditions and keep you moving comfortably throughout your pregnancy.
13. Faster Postpartum Recovery
Staying in shape and following an appropriate workout routine throughout your pregnancy can help you bounce back faster after birth.
The Importance of Working with a Trained Professional for Pilates During Pregnancy
Safe exercise during pregnancy requires a deep understanding of the changes a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy and labour.
Our expert trainers understand safe movement during pregnancy and the postpartum recovery period and can help you:
- Prevent diastasis recti during pregnancy and heal diastasis recti after birth
- Strengthen your core and pelvic floor
- Address balance issues or instability
- Reduce stress
- Gain a deeper understanding of breathing and how to control your breathing in preparation for childbirth
- Adapt to the changes your body is going through
- Feel empowered and confident
- Address pubic separation or instability
- Feel supported and encouraged throughout your pregnancy journey⠀⠀⠀⠀
Interested in Learning More About Our Pre and Postnatal Pilates Classes?
Our Pre and Postnatal Pilates classes were created specifically with soon-to-be Pilates mammas or already Pilates mammas in mind. We’ll help you feel that same Pilates burn you love with safe, appropriate exercises and a welcoming environment.
If you’re struggling with balance issues during pregnancy or trying to strengthen your deep abdominal muscles after giving birth, our highly certified trainers are here to help.
We offer an inviting environment, a supportive fitness community, and safe prenatal and postnatal Pilates classes customised to your needs. Please contact us with any questions or check our schedule for upcoming Prenatal or Postnatal Pilates classes.