Can Pilates Help me in Pregnancy?
If you have followed our weekly blog post, you might already know what Pilates is and how does Pilates benefit to our bodies. Many of my clients have similar doubts regarding to their body condition during pregnancy. Most of the frequently asked question is: “Can Pilates help me in pregnancy?”
And the answer is YES.
In this article I would like to discuss on the importance of prenatal exercise and benefits of Pilates in pregnancy.
Why We Should Do Exercise in Pregnancy?
We all know that there are miraculous changes happen to a woman’s body during pregnancy. This undergoing transformation during the nine months of pregnancy lead to some changes, such as an expanding belly, weight gain, an enlarged uterus, morning sickness and backaches.
During this time, it is important for women to look after themselves and their growing bellies. Besides eating well and getting enough rest, maintaining an active routine by doing exercise during pregnancy is important. It is not only for maintaining muscle and postural strength, but also in preparing women for labor and post-delivery recovery.
Benefits of Prenatal Pilates
I always encourage my pregnant clients to go for prenatal Pilates as Pilates is one of the best tailored-exercise for preparing birth and boosting after-birth recovery.
Let’s discover the prenatal Pilates benefits.
1. Relaxation during Pregnancy and Labor
During the nine-month pregnancy, a woman’s belly grows and expands. There will have some physical changes such as being stiff on upper spine and chest. This can result in chest tightness and difficulty in deep breathing.
Whereas, breathing is a key focus in all Pilates classes, especially for pregnant women. It helps in building lung capacity and gaseous exchange for the mom and the baby. With the breathing practice in Pilates, the woman learns to relax their body by controlling the breathing. Therefore, breathing is also beneficial in promoting relaxation during labor.
2.Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscle
Being pregnant and giving birth weakens and stretches the muscles of belly and pelvic floor — the hammock muscles that keep the bladder closed.
Pilates can help to strengthen this pelvic floor muscle to support the bladder and bowel and reduce the risk of incontinence that could develop during or after the pregnancy.
Besides, exercise like Pilates can help and build the deep abdominal strength and tone, especially for an easier birth and a faster recovery. Exercise like Kegel exercise is excellent during pregnancy to support the growing weight of baby and also after give birth to recover faster.
3. Minimize Back Pain
Many pregnant women suffer back pain when the babies grow and expand in their uterus. It not only causes them to have weak and tight muscle but also alters their posture.
As we know Pilates is all about body awareness, it helps to give better posture awareness to pregnant women in reducing back pain. In Pilates, we help in building core strength which helps to support the lower back during pregnancy, as well as when carrying the newborn.
What if I Have Not Started Pilates Before?
It is advisable to start your first Pilates lesson with a certified Pilates instructor. A clinical rehab Pilates instructor will be even better in providing rehabilitative program for you if you have any existing medical condition.
Click this to get a FREE assessment by our physiotherapist or rehab Pilates instructor.
Below is a video of Peh Chia, our therapist demonstrating a stretching exercise to help you relieve you back tightness. It is also safe and effective for pregnant woman. If you want to find out more useful tips and advice, check out our blog and YouTube channel. We hope this article has been useful for you. As always, contact us if you have any questions.