If you are pregnant, and want to do some exercise, but not sure what exercises are safe to do, try pregnancy pilates! Not only is it safe to do during pregnancy, but it can actually help your body to accommodate the pregnancy better, to assist with delivery, and to recover better and regain your shape after the baby is born. This form of exercise is highly recommended by many mothers, and pregnant moms often experience a wide range of benefits that stretch beyond the mere physical.
7 Ways that Pilates Benefits Pregnant Moms
1. Core muscles
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 and the back muscles are weakened by the growing belly, which causes the lower back to arch inwards, as the load gets heavier. Doing regular Pilates will strengthen these muscles and provide better support for the back and the overall skeletal structure during pregnancy.
2. Pelvic floor
These muscles are vital to having a healthy pregnancy and birth – they help to 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, and 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 the correct exercises helps to correct postural mistakes and helps to hold the shoulders back in a healthier position.
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 mom 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 the mother not only through the stressful times of pregnancy, but also after the birth, and helps to keep the mind relaxed when needed most. Breathing techniques taught by BASI Pilates in Pretoria also helps to control breathing when in labour.
The extra weight of the baby places huge stress on the feet, and often feet become flatter or the arches fall as a result. Pilates helps to build healthy feet and thereby prevent a lot of common foot problems during and after pregnancy.
Our techniques provide pregnant women with a sense of control over their bodies, 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 also easier, which also gives the self-esteem a boost!