Gestation is a beautiful interim where a newly expecting mom will finally feel the joy of motherhood. Aside from expecting your bundle of joy, it’s probably the best time to start considering pregnancy Pilates to get you through the pre- and post-natal changes (of bodily and hormonal).
It’s no secret that there will be a lot of changes going on during pregnancy, and the most important thing to remember as a mom-to-be is that you are no longer the same person and your body is not your own anymore. You will definitely experience changes to your hormones and body, but you don’t have to worry too much. These changes are natural and with time, you’ll come to appreciate these changes that are brought upon by birthing beautiful beings.
As excited or nervous you are, it is essential to respect these changes you are going through and not push yourself.
Make sure that you stay hydrated throughout your physical exercise. Of course, consult your doctor before beginning any pre or postnatal exercise regimen and make sure to refer to a professional who has experience with pre and post natal clients.
What can Pilates do for me?
Unlike other workouts like Yoga, Pilates trains your body to be adaptable, balanced and stable. It is also easier on the joints and doesn’t stress your body through a series of complex movements. Pilates comprises a series of movements and positions that help condition your strength and coordination.
Deep breathing and relaxation are part of the training, and your instructor will teach you how to control them during your practice. The movements focus on your stomach, pelvic floor muscles and lower back muscles, are built on a series of controlled, gradually challenging moves that won’t set your body under strain.
If you strengthen your muscles, you’ll be thankful for a stable core. A stable core provides good posture, balance, strength, and better endurance.
How can Pregnancy Pilates help me during pregnancy?
Pilates strengthens your tummy, back, and pelvic floor muscles without straining other joints, so it’s a great exercise to practice during pregnancy. But research also suggests that doing pre- or post-natal Pilates regularly can be as effective as doing pelvic floor workouts, except that it targets specific muscles and functions that might pose a problem during pregnancy and after birth, in a secure way.
Most of all, determine that your Pilates instructor is experienced and trained in conducting pre-postnatal classes. And the rest of the time, just enjoy the sessions and benefits you reap:
1. A stronger transverse abdominis, which helps prevent diastasis recti
2. A stronger association to the pelvic floor muscles
3. Better control of breathing
4. Less discomfort due to muscle & skeletal imbalances
5. A quicker recovery & return to pre-pregnancy body
Doing regular Pregnancy Pilates will help too:
- Tone up your tummy muscles, which helps your body cope with the strains of pregnancy by the weight of your growing baby. These hormones normally take away the muscle tone, at the same time, causing the connecting bone tissues (ligaments) to become more pliable during pregnancy. But with Pilates training and toned abs resulting from continuous practice, you can prevent further trauma caused by this fragility.
- Decreases back pain, by exercising the deepest tummy muscles that stabilize your back and pelvic girdles.
- Strengthen your pelvic floor, which might prevent you from leaking a small amount of pee when you cough or sneeze. A strong pelvic floor will help support your bowel, bladder, and womb as your child grows and moves down.
- Helps with balancing, especially during pregnancy. You might feel a little clumsier, or that your balance isn’t like the same as before.
By going into positions like on your hands and knees, remove the stress from your back and pelvic floor. Towards the end of your term, pregnancy Pilates might also help bring your baby into the right position for birth.
Relax and hold your breathing, which is essential for pregnancy and labor.
Other than pregnancy Pilates, you should also aim to do both aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking or swimming, and muscle-strengthening practice, such as those positions taught in your Pilates classes.
The relaxing hormones in pregnancy make your joints more flexible to make way for growing baby. Taking Pilates now enhances your body awareness, thus preventing expectant mothers from falling due to the changes in their body’s center of gravity.
What if I haven’t done Pilates before?
Before trying pre-natal Pilates, make sure that your instructor is certified to guide you on your pre- and post-natal sessions. Visit a proper pregnancy Pilates institute so you can benefit more from the quality courses and have a peace of mind, knowing that you’re in good hands.
It helps if you can perform basic pelvic floors. It’s also vital to remember that even though you can do pelvic floor exercises with ease, you might find that some standard pregnancy Pilates classes are a little more challenging than usual. It’s all right to feel that way because people progress differently.
Just speak to your instructor and s/he will ensure your comfort and be in line with your pace during the sessions. Make sure your instructor knows that many weeks you’re into the pregnancy, and how many weeks you are. She’ll need to improvise the practice sessions for you.
In the event you experience any pain or discomfort, stop what you are doing and consult your midwife or doctor know before bringing back your classes.
Can I go to any Pilates classes?
Look for a class that is catered for pregnant ladies. If your instructor isn’t a health professional, check if s/he qualifies for teaching Pilates for pregnant women.
Before you rush to book your next session, keep in mind of the following:
- Supporting your weight on your hands and knees might get your joints ache. Your instructor should show you how to lean forward or use an exercise ball properly, as an example.
- Positions that require lying on your tummy or back, or standing on one leg. A good instructor will suggest an alternative, safer positions.
- Don’t stretch any joint in its full range, especially in an unsupported side. This is because the hormones released during pregnancy will inevitably affect ligaments, making them “looser.”
Make an appointment quickly for a quicker rebound from your post-pregnancy figure 🙂