For most pregnant women it is recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most, if not all, days of the week. This doesn’t mean a harsh sprint or going overboard Olympic weightlifting, moderate and controlled exercise is proven to help maintain the well being of you and your baby and can often have positive effects on the labour experience. Pilates is an example of exercise that heavily features moves focusing on strength, balance and flexibility, with research suggesting that Pilates can be just as effective as pelvic floor exercises. It targets the specific muscles that can cause issues during and after pregnancy, helping you put your best foot forward for the start of your baby’s life. Here are some of the ways Pilates can help during pregnancy:
Strengthening Your Tummy
Pilates is known to strengthen the muscles in your abdomen, which helps you better handle the strains that the growing baby can place on your body, including the weight gain. During this period, your hormones are changing every day, causing your ligaments to become pliable, which without sufficient stretching can lead to injury.
Reducing Back Pain
Even in the earliest stages of pregnancy you are probably experiencing mild to moderate back pain. Pilates is an effective way of rehabilitating back injury and strengthening the muscles surrounding your body that stabilise your back and pelvis. The stronger the muscles in this area, the less pain you will experience with the added strain of carrying a baby.
Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor
Pelvic floor exercises are always recommended for pregnant women as the muscles support the bowel, bladder and uterus as the baby begins to grow and move down. This can help prevent the problem of incontinence that many pregnant women endure.
Controlling Your Breathing
Pilates applies controlled breath with every move. Helping you focus on your breathing is something that’s incredibly important during labour.
Always seek the advice of a doctor before you attempt any moderate physical exercise during your pregnancy. If you would like to find out more about the Pilates classes we have available and how we can tailor your programme to your needs, then call a member of our friendly team on 0191 284 9111.