Many times, I am asked by clients about the safety of Pilates during pregnancy. First, let me be clear; all diet and exercise programmes should be participated in under the supervision of a doctor, but as a whole, Pilates done under a prenatal certified pilates instructor has not only proved safe in every trimester, but also beneficial in terms of helping clients to have an easier time with labour.
Breath Better: I have spoken about the importance of breathing in Pilates, and while that not only aids practice, it can also aid in strengthening the diaphram, increasing lung capacity and keeping the heartbeat steady and calm. Additionally, these techniques have been touted for helping women stay calmer during childbirth.
Core Strength For Baby: Some studies suggest that superficial “crunch” exercises actually work against you when it comes to giving birth, and can actually make delivery harder. Pilates maintains a focus on deep core strength which will not only help on the big day, but for the 9 months beforehand as you’ll sit and walk taller and stronger.
Body-Mind Connection: Pilates requires focus and in-the-moment attention to specific muscles and movements. This can aid mum’s-to-be in that they become more in-tune with what’s working and when. There’s a lot of changes that happen to your body over the course of pregnancy and after, and having a strong connection to your own body can not only help to alleviate physical stress, but mental, too.
A Strong Pelvic Floor Focus: I spoke about the connection with the pelvic floor and sex in an earlier blog, and it’s equally helpful in pregnancy. Pilates is known to build significant strength in the pelvis which will assist you in an easier delivery, but also bladder control.
Me Time: Having a baby is one of the most beautiful blessings in the world, but it’s important to remember the mum, too. I love to see women come in and do something that is helpful and supportive of them as individuals, as well as their baby.
Easier Post-Pregnancy Return to Exercise: When fitness is a part of your pregnancy, the body stays used to movement. The body is going to change, that’s a part of the process, but returning to a pre-pregnancy state is easier when you’ve stayed active.
Did you find Pilates was helpful in your pregnancy?
Photo: Claire Obeid.