How can Pilates help me in pregnancy?
Pilates is the ideal form of exercise for pregnancy. It is no impact, body balancing and core strengthening. By practicing Pilates throughout your pregnancy, you will maintain a stronger core, experience a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery, and recover more quickly. Pilates will also help you to get back into your pre pregnancy clothes quicker.
As a woman’s posture changes during pregnancy many women experience back pain. As the baby moves your center of gravity forwards your low back experiences additional sway. In addition, the extra weight of larger breasts may cause your shoulders to round forward putting strain on your neck, shoulders and upper back. Pilates helps to release tension in these areas and also increase mobility and postural awareness. Even if you have good posture, pregnancy can challenge your ability to maintain it. Working on your posture while pregnant can alleviate muscle tension and reduce stain on your muscles, joints and ligaments.
A good prenatal Pilates practice focuses on stretching, relaxing and gentle toning. Strengthening your core, pelvic floor muscles and improving your breathing will go a long way to easing delivery and speeding up your recovery. In addition, the Pilates emphasis on deep breathing is wonderful for relieving stress and increasing circulation, thereby minimizing the risk of varicose veins and leg cramps. After the birth of your baby, we recommend waiting at least 6 to 8 weeks to resume your Pilates practice.
The Benefits of Pilates During Pregnancy Include:
- Maintain strong core muscles -Increasing the deep abdominal strength provides support for the weight of the baby and takes pressure off the spine
- Strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and create greater awareness of the muscles used during childbirth
- Increase energy levels
- Re-gain your pre-pregnancy body faster
- Improve your changing center of balance
- Improving muscle endurance especially in the “core” region including the abdomen, back, pelvic and shoulder girdles
- Improve breathing and lung capacity
- Increase circulation – reduces the changes of developing edema (water retention)
- Promotes emotional centeredness and sense of calm – Promoting relaxation through the use of flowing movements and focus on breath.