When you’re pregnant, exercise can feel like a scary thing – particularly when you don’t want to do anything that might harm your baby. Well, worry not, as there are several exercises you can do that will both help you and your bump to have the best pregnancy possible.
One of our favorite pregnancy exercises is Pilates, as this low impact exercise focuses on strengthening your back, pelvic floor and stomach muscles, which improves your core and can help ease the aches and pains you feel during pregnancy.
How Can Pilates Help Women During Pregnancy?
1: Strengthens Stomach Muscles
By participating in a Pilates class, you will start to strengthen the muscles around your stomach. By doing this, you’ll help counteract the strains your stomach muscles feel as you bump grows over the months ahead.
2: Strengthens Your Pelvic Floor
For most women, pregnancy brings a fear of incontinence, as many can pass small amounts of urine when sneezing, coughing or even laughing. To combat this, your Pilates exercises will help strengthen your pelvic floor, which will support your bladder, bowel and womb as your baby gets bigger.
3: Reduce Back Pains
As your baby grows, many women feel aches and pains in their back due to the extra weight. If you strengthen your back muscles with Pilates, though, your back will be better equipped to deal with the strain. Which means less pain for you!
4: Improved Balance
Many women feel a little clumsier while pregnant, which can cause worry. With Pilates, your instructor will help you strengthen your core, which helps you to feel more stable on your feet.
5: Controlled Breathing
Every Pilates move is accompanied by controlled breathing to help you relax. Something which will come in very handy during labor.
How Can Pilates Help You After Pregnancy?
Not just ideal for during pregnancy, by continuing your Pilates exercises after your little bundle of joy is born, you’ll enjoy a host of benefits too.
1: Brings Your Abdominals Back Together
With your belly stretching out over 9 months to accommodate your baby, it makes sense that your abdominal muscles won’t simply snap back into place. By continuing your Pilates, you can bring these muscles back together
2: Strengthens Your Pelvic Floor
Like before your birth, continuing your Pilates will help strengthen your pelvic floor, helping stop any embarrassing accidents. It will also strengthen your hips, which will have been stretched by hormones running through your body.
3: Relieves Back Pain
Your back can feel sore now you’re constantly carrying around your baby. By strengthening your back muscles you’ll feel less pain and discomfort.
4: Helps Repair Diastasis Recti
This condition, which can occasionally happen after childbirth, means that you have a split down the middle of your abdominal muscles. The slow and low impact motion of Pilates can help repair this.
5: Much Needed Relaxing Time
Becoming a mother can be a stressful and emotional time. By dedicating to some time away from everything with Pilates, you’ll be able to relax and feel better about yourself.
Keep in mind, that you should always speak to a health advisor when trying new exercises, particularly while pregnant. If you have any worries, simply get in touch with RPI’s women health services, who can offer you advice and help on any worry you might have.