Pilates throughout Pregnancy (Part 1)
Congratulations, you’re having a baby! If this is your first pregnancy, you’re probably full of questions: How will my body change? Will I get back pain? Is bladder weakness inevitable? And, as an exerciser, you may be concerned about what fitness training you can safely do. Exercise has been shown to decrease the risk of preeclampsia by 40% but what activities will help and not harm your baby?
If this is your second/third pregnancy, you may remember the effects that a growing foetus can have on your body and want to be stronger this time. Especially if you’re already suffering with aches and pains from carrying an older child! How will you cope with your body changing again?
Well, wonder no more; clinical Pilates is the ideal form of exercise to power you through your pregnancy. Most problems that expectant mothers face are due to asymmetries in the body as opposed to pure hormonal laxity. Pilates addresses this through all-round body training, focusing especially on the areas affected by the changes in the body; tight hips, weaker rounded shoulders, compromised pelvic floor, altered posture and balance.
Pilates is safe to start right from that joyous moment of finding out you are pregnant; it won’t overheat you like high energy activities can and specially trained instructors will tell you when to stop with crunches and exercising on your back. Because Pilates is adaptable as your body changes, you can do it all the way up towards labour. In fact, Pilates not only helps to minimise the adverse physical effects associated with pregnancy but by teaching breathing techniques as well as improving muscle control, stamina and endurance, it can even assist in easing labour itself!
With its focus on correct posture and bending and lifting techniques, Pilates is also invaluable post-pregnancy. And, if core activation is commenced early on, it can lead to faster recovery post-delivery, reduction in incontinence and abdominal diastasis (separation of the abdominal muscles).
For a more in-depth look at physical changes in pregnancy and how Pilates can help, please read Part 2 of this article. But if you have specific questions or would like to try Pro-align’s specialist prenatal classes, then contact me, Sally, on 0404 366 363. I’d love to hear from you.