Pilates And Pregnancy
There are a fair few myths surrounding exercising while pregnant, and we are here to tell you exactly what’s what – what’s safe, what’s not and what could in fact be really beneficial for you and your baby.
Pilates works your muscles, improving flexibility, posture and breath control, while remaining a low impact form of exercise, so it is really great for pre and post natal.
Pilates can help with combatting the aches and pains that come along with pregnancy. If you were practicing pilates on a regular basis before you became pregnant, there is absolutely no reason for you to stop. And similarly, if you are new to pilates, now is a great time to introduce yourself to the basics and take it really slow.
As pilates focuses on strengthening your core muscles, it can be effective in providing your body with the support it needs to deal with the extra weight of your baby!
Another area which should be focused on generally when exercising throughout pregnancy is the pelvic floor, and pilates focuses on strengthening this area of your body. This is particularly important for labour and postnatal recovery – it can combat the possibility of incontinence post-birth!
It is worth bearing in mind that your body’s limits are very likely to change as your pregnancy progresses, so make sure to listen to your body and don’t push yourself if it doesn’t feel right.
You won’t have to make lots of exercise modifications at this time, but the main thing to take into account is not overexerting yourself – really listen to your body.
Make sure you tell your Pilates instructor that you’re expecting so they are aware.
This is around the time you might want to think about switching things up a bit to protect your changing body.
Your balance might start to feel off as your body’s centre of balance is constantly evolving.
Limit exercises lying on your back as much as you can, as these put too much pressure on your core – modify these to exercises to ones lying on one side, seated or standing. The same goes for exercises lying on your stomach!
Be aware of incorporating too many forward flexion (crunching) exercises – this can cause diastasis recti, or abdominal separation. A pilates exercise example of this movement is the Pilates Hundred.
Your energy levels are likely to be depleted now, so don’t push yourself too much and focus on breathing and really relaxing with every workout you do.
If you don’t feel like it – don’t put yourself through it. But if you want to get moving, take it slow and do what feels good for you.
Back pain is a common issue at this time, so a great focus could be on chest opening exercises.
It would be best to ask your Pilates teacher about modifications you can make to ensure you can keep yourself moving safely during your pregnancy, for both your body and mind!