Pregnancy is a life-changing event. With so much excitement on the way, things sometimes have a tendency to fall to the side. However, this doesn’t mean that pregnant women have to let their old exercise routine slide. While they may not be able to hit the gym like they used to, prenatal Pilates classes can keep them in tune with their changing bodies during this time. Not to mention, a regular Pilates practice will help during delivery and recovery in postpartum!
Pilates exercises help to balance the body by correcting alignment dysfunction, relieving stress, and maintaining long, lean musculature. The primary target is the core, which is made up of the abdominals, lower back, hips, and pelvic floor muscles. All of these are important during pregnancy and also for labor! However, it is always best to seek medical advice before starting something new when pregnant.
Pilates can be started during the first trimester of pregnancy. It is important to check in with anyone who may be pregnant before starting a class.
The core is the queen of everything in Pilates. With an expanding abdomen, it may be difficult to understand why it’s important to keep this area strong. However, making an effort to strengthen the midsection can prevent a condition called diastasis recti.
During pregnancy, the muscular fibers of the abdominal wall begin to separate to compensate for the growth occurring. If this separation gets too large, the skin will not shrink back up post-labor and can cause a sagging effect that many find not to be aesthetically pleasing. Pilates works to strengthen your deep abdominal muscles, such as the transverse abdominis, so to prevent this from happening.
The pelvic floor plays a big role in pregnancy, so it’s important not to downplay attention to this area during pregnancy. Due to the incredible strength and pliability of this area utilized during labor, improving pelvic floor strength will not help with a healthy delivery but also ensures there are no complications after the fact.
A common issue is the loss of bladder control due to weakened pelvic floor muscles. No one wants to be worrying about this when they have a newborn on their hands.
The lower back is particularly stressed during pregnancy due to the expanding abdomen as well as the hips widening. With the body changing, it’s no surprise that the lower back will take the brunt of the pain here. Keeping the core strong is a good preventative in order to take the pressure out of the lower back.
The practice of Pilates will help keep the mind-body connection strong so if there are ever any issues during pregnancy, the practitioner can step back and pause for a moment to make the best choice for their body during pregnancy.
Here at Future Fit, we offer specialized pre and post-natal Pilates certification training. Many exercises need to be modified to protect the growing baby, and it is important to have this training in your repertoire so that you can help as many clients as possible. This will ensure you more success in growing your Pilates career, as you will be able to hold specialized classes in addition to giving specific exercises and modifications to this population.
Check out our Pre and Postnatal Course.