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April 12, 2022

Why You Should Be Doing Pilates Throughout Your Pregnancy

Pregnancy Pilates

Growing another human is one of the most physically and mentally challenging things any person can ever go through. It takes every ounce of energy women have to bring a baby into this world. Exercising is such an important habit to maintain throughout pregnancy, as it will help maintain your health and prepare your body for the incredible marathon known as labour. However, women can become quite limited in the type of exercise they can do, especially the more pregnant they become. One extremely beneficial form of exercise that expectant mothers can do throughout their pregnancy is Pilates. 

Pilates provides several benefits for pregnant mothers, and it requires minimal exercise equipment. Common equipment you may need includes a foam roller, a stability ball, and some light weights. Continue reading to find out how Pilates can benefit you throughout your pregnancy!

Pilates helps with your breathing

Physio Logic informs readers that one essential element in Pilates is focusing on your breathing. One thing that becomes a lot harder to do during pregnancy also happens to be breathing! What happens throughout the final stages of pregnancy when the baby starts to take up the remaining space you have within your abdomen is pushing up on your diaphragm. The diaphragm is an essential muscle that helps your lungs expand and contract during breathing. 

Pilates can help you strengthen your diaphragm as well as deepen your restricted breath cycles by teaching you lateral breathing. Lateral breathing will help you create more space for your lungs, even when there seems like there just isn’t any left!

Strengthen your body

Pilates works to strengthen all areas of your body, including the most important ones! Upper body and abdominal strength are things that you’re going to need throughout pregnancy as well as post-pregnancy. As the belly expands, the abdominal muscles begin to weaken and stretch. This can leave your post-pregnancy body suffering from diastasis recti. Working to strengthen your muscles throughout pregnancy can help prevent this from happening and give you more strength for labour! 

Upper body strength is key to a post-pregnancy body. You need it to help you hold your baby for long periods of time. Pilates can help you achieve your upper body strengthening goals to be able to lift the pram in and out of the car, carry it in and out of the house and be able to do everything one-handed!!

Build muscle strength control

Pilates exercises are full of isometric muscle movements and holds. How can this help you? Performing isometric muscle movements requires you to contract targeted muscles into one position, giving you more muscle endurance and control.

Isometric muscle holds and movements that are appropriate for pregnant women can help prepare you for your life with your new baby. Leaning over the cot and patting your baby to sleep, holding your baby whilst feeding, holding your baby whilst they sleep are all going to require isometric muscle holds. Strengthening your leg, arm, back and abdominal muscles throughout pregnancy will give you the strength you need to hold the same position for long periods of time whilst caring for your little one!

Build stability

Relaxin is a hormone that is secreted throughout pregnancy and is essential for giving birth. This hormone works to relax ligaments within your pelvis in order to give it the ability to move in new ways needed during childbirth. While this is great for the birthing process, it can leave your body unstable and out of balance for some time, even after you have given birth. Not only that, but your centre of gravity will greatly shift with your growing belly.

Viva Physiotherapy notes that appropriate Pilates exercises throughout pregnancy can help maintain the stability of your more vulnerable joints and help you build muscles that will work to maintain your balance!

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Relax the body

The beautiful journey of pregnancy is also a very difficult one. It can leave your body feeling stiff and sore in all the wrong places. An amazing benefit of Pilates is that it involves a lot of stretching. This stretching can help you open up and relax tightened and stiff hips, loosen up sore shoulder muscles, alleviate lower back pain and ease the tightness that can come with stretched belly muscles. 

There’s an endless list of benefits that Pilates can have on your body, and pregnant bodies aren’t isolated from these benefits. 

Contact us to talk about how Pilates can benefit you throughout your pregnancy and start a personalised program with one of our experienced instructors!

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