Why is Pilates so Perfect for Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a time when your body goes through enormous changes including emotional, physical and hormonal. You should not be thinking about getting fitter, more toned or even slimmer, your priority should be to maintain your level of fitness that is beneficial to you and your baby.
Pilates is an excellent way to strengthen postural muscles through increased body awareness. This in turn will make pregnancy more comfortable and pain free. As your breasts get larger and heavier there is an increased strain on the neck, shoulders and back. Pilates will teach you how to release that tension, improve your awareness of upper body movement and strengthen your mid back muscles which will prevent the shoulders from rounding forward. Pilates will help ensure your body’s systems are all functioning efficiently, teaches you how to relax and lays the foundations to help you get your figure back after the birth. As your Pilates instructor, I will keep a close eye on your body changes month by month and will adapt the exercises to to suit.
The fitter and healthier you are prior to pregnancy, the better your body will cope with the changes. If your abdominals are strong you will be able to carry the extra weight of the baby so much more easily and you are less likely to suffer from diastasis recti which is the splitting of the abdominals to allow for the baby’s growth. If your core muscles are strong before you become pregnant, then the separation of the abdominals should not be a problem and the two sides will join together again soon after birth with the help of Pilates. But if your core is weak, there is a chance it will remain separated and if the gap remains more than a finger wide it could cause further problems.
Weakening of the pelvic floor is common after childbirth causing a problem called stress incontinence when you jump, cough or sneeze. Returning to Pilates after your six week check up will help strengthen this area too.