Why do Prenatal Pilates?
Pilates strengthens your tummy, back and pelvic floor muscles without causing more strain on your joints, as your joints are much looser during pregnancy due to the increased hormone Relaxin, which makes it a lot easier to hurt yourself.
As a result of the hormone Relaxin which prepares the body for birth, it results in a change in stride and waddling. The weight of the uterus may also cause a swayback posture late in pregnancy, which can cause backache.
Is Pilates good for posture during Pregnancy?
Absolutely yes!! The following Postural deviations are common during pregnancy, due to the structural changes in the body. As the uterus gets larger, the mother’s centre of gravity shifts which may cause some of the following changes:
- Forward Head
- Increased cervical lordosis (exaggerated arching in the back of the neck)
- Enlarged breast tissue causes rounded shoulders and increased thoracic kyphosis (rounded upper back)
- Increased lumber lordosis
- Anterior tilted pelvis (increased arching in the lower back)
- Hyperextended Knees
- Flattened Feet
Do exercises need to be adjusted during Pregnancy?
If you have been doing Pilates or attended the Gym and you have engaged in a regular exercise program before your pregnancy, you can continue with this during your 1st trimester, providing you do not have any pathologies and that your physician has confirmed that you may continue with your regular exercise program. Exercise should be mild to moderate; this is not the time to increase the intensity of an exercise program.
However, from the 2nd trimester, you exercise program needs to be adjusted. Here are some of the modifications and exercises to be avoided:
- Lying in a supine position for longer than a minute or two. Lying on the back for an extended period of time can result in obstruction of venous return and decreased cardiac output.
- Exercises need to be modified and no inversion exercises for example, where the legs are over the head or upside down positions are to be entertained.
- Heart rates need to be taken into account so that there is no excessive demands on the cardiovascular system.
- Temperatures exceeding 38 degrees Celsius results in excessive heating of the fetus.
- Exercises that demand a lot of balance should be avoided to prevent injury.
- Movements with forward flexion of the chest for example a chest curl/crunch, should be avoided as this can increase the risk of Diastasis Recti.
What are the benefits to doing Pilates classes while pregnant?
You strengthen your tummy muscles, which equips your body better to cope with all the strains caused by the increased weight of your growing baby.
Pilates helps reduce back pain, by exercising the deepest tummy muscles that stabilise your back and pelvis.
Prenatal Pilates will strengthen your pelvic floor, which will help to support your bowel, bladder and uterus as your baby grows and moves down. Strengthening your pelvic floor will help prevent you from leaking when you couch or sneeze and even laugh. This will also prevent possible damage to the Pelvic floor, which can cause havoc at a later stage.
Helps with balance, you often feel clumsier or off balance during your pregnancy and by doing Pilates you will strengthen your core which can help you be more stable as your baby bump grows.
Prenatal Pilates takes the strain off your back and pelvis, by using positions on your hands and knees, this is also a great position during pregnancy it can also help towards the end of the pregnancy get the baby into position for birth.
Pre-natal Pilates classes will help you relax and control your breathing which is important for yourself as well as your baby. It also helps train you for Labor Day.
Pilates promotes good recovery from labour and the birth, giving you the basis to regain your former figure with our post-natal program.
Pilates will assist you in getting through your pregnancy with more ease and will assist you with getting back into shape after the baby’s birth.