“Is it safe to do pilates during pregnancy?” This is probably one of the most common questions we get asked in the studio by our pregnant ladies. For so many reasons, our answer is unequivocally, YES ABSOLUTELY!
Here’s why: Strengthens tummy muscles
Because you are carrying a little human in your belly, the muscles and ligaments around that area are stretched under the weight. This can lead to pain in your pelvis and lower back. Pilates is all about working on your supporting muscles and strengthening your core. By doing the exercises you stabilise that area and reduce pain. It also helps to prevent diastasis recti or separation of the abs which is very common in mums-to-be!
Stronger connection to pelvic floor muscles
These poor muscles get forgotten so much! Having a strong pelvic floor is incredibly important for mums to-be. A strong pelvic floor can help prevent incontinence (surprisingly incredibly common after child birth). It will also make recovery post pregnancy much faster if you have strong pelvic floor muscles!
Breathing is a key focus in all Pilates classes, and is especially useful for pregnant women to learn, as good air exchange is important for you and your baby. It’s not easy to take a deep breath when you’ve got someone squishing your diaphragm! Learning to control your breathing is also beneficial for labour.
Your posture & body alignment go through a lot of changes as your belly grows and strong glutes at the back will help counteract the extra weight in the front.
Maintain a healthy weight
It’s important to stay as healthy as possible for your benefit as well as the precious baby you are growing.
Take time for you!
The most important thing to remember is to put yourself at the top of your priority list, your physical & mental health is paramount!
Pregnancy is a time for you to really listen to your body and be kind to its needs. Pilates during pregnancy can help you to be strong, calm and capable of not just enduring but flourishing throughout the 9-month journey.
Growing a baby is hard, there’s no two ways about it and every woman has a different and very personal experience throughout their pregnancy. It is so important to remember that and not to compare yourself to others, or even to yourself prior to pregnancy.
Speaking from experience
I personally have just had my third baby, Grace, who is now 4 months old and I had high expectations of myself and my capabilities during pregnancy being a Pilates Instructor. However my body had other plans for me, extreme tiredness, pelvic pain and high blood pressure (not to mention 2 active young sons) were a few of the obstacles I encountered. I wasn’t able to be as active as I planned but I listened to my body and modified my classes/exercises where needed and did what I could.
After having my first two babies without Pilates in my life and then having my third with Pilates supporting me, I can attest to its amazing benefits.
What if I’m a total beginner?
Even if you haven’t tried it prior to your pregnancy, it is still safe to begin Pilates. Our instructors can modify exercises to suit your needs all throughout your pregnancy and you can continue to practice as long as you feel comfortable in yourself. One of my clients was still attending classes at 39 weeks!
As with all aspects of life, movement is key to your physical & mental wellbeing. Pilates provides you with a safe way to provide your body with all that it needs to, not only function but flourish during the amazing process of growing a baby.
Do you want to trial pilates in a controlled and supervised environment while pregnant? Call or email us to find the right class and location for you. Joining the Rebalance Family means more than just a workout. We care about your wellbeing and have a supportive environment. We prioritise your wellbeing and provide a sanctuary for you to come and relax. Workout. But workout with purpose with us!
P.S. We’ve also got bub friendly classes at our Underwood Studio for after you’ve had your baby!
Written by Anna Grant – Underwood Studio Manager