Pregnancy can be a very exciting and challenging time in a woman’s life. Your body will go through some significant changes and Pilates can help you to adapt to those changes and help you to prepare for the delivery of your baby. No one would expect you to run a marathon without adequate training and support and you are after all getting ready for a major endurance event!
Pilates is very adaptable to your changing needs during pregnancy.
Pilates is an excellent form of exercise during pregnancy because it works on the deep abdominal muscles, back muscles and pelvic floor muscles.
Pilates exercises can also strengthen & stretch specific muscle groups which are weakened and tight from the postural changes & stresses that occur during pregnancy.
It is also low impact without stressing the joints in the body.All exercises are done on Pilates equipment in various positions such as standing, sitting, kneeling or on all fours so it is safe for pregnancy (no exercises done in supine – on your back after the first trimester).Exercises are designed for individual’s with specific musculoskeletal conditions eg. pelvic pain, low back & neck pain. Your individual program is designed to reduce the risk of conditions such as symphysis pubis and diastasis recti (DRAM – abdominal separation) post partum.
Pilates is great for recovering in the early stages following the birth of your baby. During this stage, it is important to regain deep abdominal and pelvic floor strength to help support your lower back, following the demands of pregnancy & birth, along with managing a newborn (feeding, lifting, bending etc.)
It is important for injury prevention to get these stretched muscles strong again and to allow you to return to full activities again. Exercises are also focussed on posture & flexibility for your recovering body. Exercises can be modified for women with caesarian sections, DRAM (abdominal separation) or recovering from pelvic joint pain from pregnancy.
Why isn’t there a class just for pregnant women?
- Each participant has a specifically designed program which addresses their individual goals and musculoskeletal conditions within their pregnancy.
- With a maximum of 6 people to a class, each individual is able to have attention from our Pilates trained physiotherapist who can monitor and modify each program at each session.
- More flexibility and easy access to a class time/day to suit each participant’s schedule and at any stage of their pregnancy.
- In our experience, new mums or mums to be, have been enlightened to be able to share their queries and experiences with others in the class. In any given class, there will be at least one pregnant participant.
- Our classes are designed to be friendly and open with questions encouraged by our Pilates trained physiotherapist.
When can I start exercising after giving birth?
We encourage you to start your pelvic floor exercises as soon as possible after the birth of your baby. Pelvic floor contractions (Kegel’s) promote healing and regaining the function of your pelvic floors.
Stress incontinence (leaking of urine with coughing, sneezing, lifting) should be addressed as soon as possible.
Every new mum should be checked by their physiotherapist for possible issues such as DRAM (abdominal separation), pelvic floor weakness, deep abdominal and back weakness prior to returning to any form of exercise. Our physiotherapist can assess and guide you in the choosing the best exercises for you to regain your strength and return to your previous activities.
After a caesarian section, 6 weeks is usually required prior to returning to exercise that can strain your stomach. It is best to seek clearance from your GP or Obstetrician to ensure you have healed well.
Should you require more assistance or unsure about your pelvis/ pelvic floors our Women’s Health specialist is available at the clinic.