Pilates for Pregnancy and Beyond
15/02/2017 5:30 PM
Expecting mums have special needs during pregnancy and exercises targeting special areas are vital to support your health, and the health of your growing new arrival. Prenatal Pilates is supervised by Exercise Physiologists and Physiotherapists, and can help mothers with safe, effective exercise. We chatted with Majella Nolan from Body Smart about the top 3 Reasons to do Pre-Natal Pilates and how Pilates in general can benefit a Mum before and after pregnancy.
Top 3 Reasons to do Pre-natal Pilates
1. Pre-natal Pilates teaches optimal pelvic floor function (the key muscles involved during delivery of your baby) and helps ensure a full recovery during the post-natal period.
2. This specialised type of Pilates strengthens your core muscles, preventing back pain and helps you carry the extra weight during pregnancy, easing pregnancy-related injuries such as backache and pelvic pain. Providing all is going well, you can do Pre-natal Pilates right through till the big day.
3. This regular exercise enables you to control excess weight gain during pregnancy and achieve a faster recovery following the birth of your child. Pre-natal Pilates prepares you not only for the big event of giving birth but the extremely physical job of having a newborn baby to lift, bath, feed, push and carry.
Never done Pilates before?
Not to worry! Whether you were previously a runner, dancer or you are just entering the fitness world, the benefit of joining a Pregnancy Pilates class is that your exercise program is tailored to your individual needs. Exercising in small groups under the supervision of an Exercise Physiologist means your program can be modified as your body changes throughout each trimester.
Ready to get moving again after having a baby?
All Pilates sessions are supervised by an Accredited Exercise Physiologist. Studios such as Body Smart in Paddington, Brisbane offers new mum’s the chance to return to regular exercise safely while targeting the muscles most affected during pregnancy and child birth. With sleepless nights, breastfeeding, bathing and focusing so much time on your little one, the thought of getting back into exercise after having a new baby can be very daunting!
Many women feel a lot of pressure to get back into shape quickly, but in the early stages after giving birth, whether you have had a caesarean-section or vaginal birth, the most important thing to remember is to be kind to your body and allow it time to recover. After 6 weeks you are usually ready to get moving again. Post-Natal Pilates is an excellent next step to strengthen and tone the deep abdominal muscles and pelvic floor, and start to regain your fitness and pre-pregnancy body!
Top 3 Benefits of Post-Natal Pilates at Body Smart
1. Can help you with Pelvic Floor Retraining after your little one is here. Pelvic floor complications are very common post-natal with 1 in 3 women suffering some kind of incontinence after giving birth. Core Muscle Retaining: This includes the deep abdominal and gluteal muscles, to help improve any back or pelvic pain as well as prepare your body for more vigorous exercise.
2. Specific Pilates-based exercises help to reduce rectus diastasis (abdominal separation).
3. Looking after your body gives you more energy, strength and movement to cope with all the new challenges of being a mum!
FAQ About Pregnancy, Pilates and Exercise
Pregnancy is a journey, a physical journey. It's like training for a marathon for nine months and the labor is like running the marathon. Not only does working out ensure you are strong and healthy (keeping weight gain to a minimum) it also has a very positive impact on your baby’s mental and physical well-being.
Working out during your pregnancy also reduces your chances of gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia and can ease a lot of the niggling side effects of pregnancy like constipation, swollen ankles, varicose veins, lower back soreness, sacroiliac joint pain and trouble sleeping. But most importantly it prepares the body for birth and life as a new mum, which is physically very taxing on the body.
Pilates is designed to realign and re-balance the body and with so much change going on in your body during your pregnancy you need to be working out to support this change not challenge it. That’s why Pilates is a really safe and effective way to exercise during your entire pregnancy. It's even safe enough for clients to continue with their Pilates until the week their baby arrives.
Pilates is able to isolate all the important areas in a low-impact way to ensure everything is still working but the baby and mum are safe. Pilates continues to work the abdominal's and pelvic floor without the need to do sit-ups or crunches. It also strengthens the areas needed post-baby to ensure there is reduced strain on the lower and upper back.
Once you fall pregnant, what is happening to your stomach muscles?
In the beginning nothing really happens to your tummy muscles, instead we begin to feel a little more bloated and different, this is mainly due to the hormones our body is excreting, but there is no real impact on your stomach muscles at this stage.