Pregnancy is such an exciting and precious time. Your body changes so much in such a short space of time to prepare for your new arrival. With all these changes it can be difficult to know what exercises are safe and beneficial for you and your baby (or babies!). There seems to be a long list of things to avoid during pregnancy but very little clear information on what you can and should do to help during pregnancy, labour and for the post natal period. Pregnancy pilates is ideal to keep fit during this time, whether or not you have done pilates before.
The benefits include:
• Improves posture to reduce or prevent back pain.
• Strengthens the core to help carry the additional baby weight.
• Can potentially shorten labour time.
• Improves balance.
• Enhances mood.
• Great way to meet other mum’s/expectant mum’s.
Typical classes include:
• Stretches and strengthening exercises to maintain mobility as bump grows.
• Suggested moves to do during labour.
• Breathing techniques.
• A variety of pelvic floor strengthening exercises.
Importantly, all moves are diastasis recti (abdominal separation) safe, and hence are suitable both pre and post natal (after the 6 week check).
When simple daily tasks like climbing the stairs becomes difficult, it feels good to be able to exercise and challenge your body with safe and appropriate exercises. Pilates is an individual workout and all exercises can be modified to suit your needs. It is important, especially during pregnancy, to listen to your body and the advice for your doctor and midwife.
I have been practicing pilates for nearly 10 years and have been teaching at the Lounge for 4 years. I have twins girls who are 16 months old now. I was teaching pregnancy pilates until I was 33 weeks (I was induced at 36 weeks, so I was the size of someone full term by then). I used a lot of these exercises during labour which really helped. The midwife said I ‘jumped the queue’! Unfortunately however I ended up with diastasis recti due to having multiples, so I have personal experience of this and knowledge of how to recover.