There is little research on the benefits of pregnancy Pilates - but it could help prevent aches and pains while you’re expecting.
Pilates often focusses on strengthening your pelvic floor, which is important for labour and recovery after birth. A strong pelvic floor can also help you avoid wetting yourself by accident when you cough, sneeze or exercise.
Be careful not to over-exert yourself or stretch too much. And once you get to 16 weeks pregnant, avoid exercises where you lie on your back.
As there’s not a lot of research on pregnancy Pilates, make sure you look for a specific pregnancy class or a one-to-one teacher who is trained to work with pregnant women.
When choosing a class, make sure the teacher is qualified and tell them how many weeks pregnant you are. A teacher who is qualified to work with pregnant women should be able to adapt the exercises to suit your changing body at each stage of your pregnancy.
If you already do non-pregnancy Pilates classes, tell your teacher you’re pregnant. Your teacher may be trained to work with women during pregnancy or might suggest a pregnancy class that would be better for you.
Here are some of the benefits of Pilates during pregnancy
Reduces Back Pain. By strengthening the abdominal muscles you are less likely to develop back pain. Pilates also helps to give you better attention to your posture, which tends to change as your baby grows which further helps to decrease pain in your back.
Teaches control of breathing. Breathing is a key focal point in Pilates classes and is especially useful for pregnant women to learn. Good air exchange is important for you and your baby. Learning to control your breathing is also beneficial for labor.
Works pelvic floor muscles. One of the most considerable benefit of prenatal Pilates is that you work the deepest core and pelvic floor muscles all of which support your baby. This is noticeable and important for preventing back pain and sciatica while also helping with a quicker delivery.
Increased sense of relaxation and well being. Its important for expecting mothers to Take some time for themselves during pregnancy since there are so many changes happening in your body and life. Pilates gives you an opportunity to switch off from work and day-to-day stresses and slow your mind down, while you reflect on the physiological changes in your body. Pilates assists the expecting mother in feeling that she is doing the best for herself as well as her growing baby.
Helps maintain a healthy weight. It is normal and healthy to gain weight throughout the pregnancy, however, if a woman puts on more than the recommended weight she is at an increased risk of gestational diabetes. Doing regular, gentle exercise such as Pilates can help control a healthy weight gain throughout the pregnancy.
Prenatal Pilates is a safe, effective and low-impact exercise that gives high-impact results that will benefit you in the long run.
As with all exercise during pregnancy, if you feel any pain it’s important to stop straight away.