To all the future moms out there,
if you are pregnant and want to do some exercise but not sure what exercises are safe to do, try pilates! Not only is the practice safe during pregnancy but it can actually help your body to accommodate the pregnancy better, to assist with delivery and regain strength and shape after the baby is born. The benefits of pilates practice include:
Our abdominal and back muscles support our spinal column, our pelvic area and the spine and they tend to become increasingly taxed during pregnancy as the baby grows heavier and bigger. This often results in back pain as the abdominals are not strong enough to adequately support the back – the back muscles are weakened by the growing belly, which causes the lower back to arch inwards as the load gets heavier. Practising pilates will strengthen these muscles and provide better support for the back and the overall skeletal structure during pregnancy.
These muscles are vital to having a healthy pregnancy and birth – they help you contain and hold everything in place in the lower abdomen. When the pelvic floor is healthy it is able to contract and release on demand, the perfect exercise to strengthen this group of muscles is pilates. Strong pelvic floor muscles are also required for after the pregnancy to help everything fall back into shape.
The weight of the baby often pulls one forward and this results in incorrect posture and discomfort. Doing pilates exercises helps you correct postural mistakes.
While strong muscles are very necessary, it is also vital to have a healthy circulation. The volume of blood increases to up to forty percent during pregnancy and a strong circulation is needed to pump oxygen-filled blood to all the parts that are needed for the baby to grow and for you to stay healthy.
Learning good breathing techniques helps with relaxation and calms the mind during periods of stress. Pilates focuses heavily on breathing techniques that will sustain you not only through the stressful times of pregnancy but also after the birth and help you keep the mind relaxed when needed most.
The extra weight of the baby places huge stress on the feet and often feet become flatter or the arches fall as a result, creating unhealthy posture overall. Pilates helps to build healthy feet and thereby prevent a lot of common foot problems during and after pregnancy.
The pilates technique provides you with a sense of control over your body, during a time when it feels like everything is out of control. It also provides a sense of wellbeing and accomplishment, both of which may lead to more self-confidence. Getting the body back into shape after pregnancy is easier, which also gives the self-esteem a boost!
So give it a try! #peacelovepilates
Dear Vesna, thank you for your positive energy, all the helpful exercises and tips, which added to an easier labor. I will keep up my pilates practice. -M.G.
(this article was put together with the help of BASI Pilates UK – thank you)