Pilates and pregnancy are truly a harmonious union and practicing Pilates during pregnancy provides so many advantages both physically and mentally.
If pregnancy is something that is not personally relevant to you, take a moment to consider any friends or family members who are either already pregnant or preparing for pregnancy, as this information could be of huge benefit to them. It could mean the difference between a smooth pregnancy, labour and delivery or ongoing health issues that could impact them for the rest of their lives. Just as a marathon runner trains for a race, a woman needs to prepare for the arrival of her new baby and Pilates can assist perfectly with this crucial preparation.
Over the past 15 years, I've had the pleasure of assisting so many women to exercise safely and effectively during pregnancy and just some of the benefits include:
Strengthening of the Abdominal & Pelvic Floor Muscles
These muscles are under constant strain during pregnancy due to the ever-increasing weight of the growing baby and hormonal changes. Learning how to strengthen and also connect and release these muscles, improves body awareness and assists with not only the labour and delivery but also the crucial post-natal recovery.
Strengthening of the Gluteal Muscles
These muscles assist in stabilising the pelvis which helps to prevent lower back pain. Again, the increasing weight puts a strain on these muscles which can cause them to switch off. Strengthening throughout the pregnancy assists to keep the glutes activated which also helps to improve posture.
Improve Upper-Body Strength
In preparation for holding and possibly breastfeeding your new baby, upper body strength exercises need to be included. This helps to improve posture and ensures you are ready for sustained periods of sitting as well as carrying and lifting the baby in and out the car or cot for example.
Relaxation and Focus
Pregnancy is a time when a woman is going through so many changes and Pilates provides an opportunity to take a break from the outside world and focus solely on herself. The emphasis is on feeling relaxed and slightly energised after a session and the conscious breathing pattern used in Pilates also serves to promote relaxation and focus.
Make sure you find a Pilates Practioner who is qualified and experienced in teaching Pilates during pregnancy as there a number of important guidelines that need to be followed. Alternatively, you can take the free 10-day trial (self-cancel at any time) for JS Mind Body Pilates Membership site my online Pilates studio which has a dedicated pregnancy course. Looking forward to assisting you on your Pilates journey!
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