Hi Mamma! Congratulations you’ve got a little one on the way. 😊You’re about to embark on the most mind-blowing journey yet – creating new life! And while your body is about to go through some amazing (and extremely crazy) changes, it’s important to keep moving safely throughout your whole pregnancy.
Regular exercise during pregnancy comes with an abundance of benefits including promoting healthy weight gain, decreasing back pain, supporting your posture, and keeping a happy and positive mind. After having just recently given birth to a beautiful baby girl, these were a couple of my favourite benefits of a regular Pilates practice throughout my journey.
Strengthens Pelvic Floor
It goes without saying Pilates is an extraordinary method of fitness that will prepare your body for many facets of birth. With the additional weight of your baby and increased uterus size there’s a lot of extra strain placed on your pelvic floor – the muscle that sits under the pelvis to support your bladder and bowel. Pilates places a strong focus on strengthening this muscle group to help with incontinence both during pregnancy and after, so you’ll never be afraid of sneezing!
Prenatal clients’ need to be strong both mentally, emotionally, and physically. Pilates embodies a holistic approach to fitness with a focus on the movement of the body, but also the breathwork that comes with this. When you can understand the connection between the breath and how this brings a relaxation to the body, you’ll learn that this will help you cope emotionally to any changes you face during pregnancy, and it will be veryneeded in labour.
Helps posture and body strength
Pilates is a low impact workout that increases core, leg and glute strength which helps minimise back pain and supports a healthy posture. As your growing bump adds weight to your front it brings the centre of gravity forward and can result in back pain. It’s also important to keep the area around your abdominals, sides and back strong to minimises your diastasis recti, the separation of the abdominals and help this separation heal quicker post-partum.
Maintain healthy weight
There’s a lot of research that supports maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight has positive long-term effects for both you and bub. While it’s normal to gain some weight, sustaining a healthy weight will reduce the chance of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. It will also keep you feeling happier, more connected and you may even meet some other mummas!
Assists post-partum recovery
Your instructor will start targeting the areas that you – mumma – will desperately need once bub is born including your glutes, quads, and arms. All these muscle groups you’ll use to lift, feed, and carry your baby around. So you’ll have more time to relax and soak up the newborn bubble love nest without having to think about keeping your strength.
My favourite pregnancy exercises
- Mermaid stretch which elongates your side body and eases tension around your ribcage
- Squats to get your butt muscles working for a stable pelvis
- Calf stretches to increase circulation and help with calf cramps (yeah these hurt!)
- Four-point kneeling core work to maintain a strong core and work the pelvic floor.
Key points to note throughout pregnancy
- Relaxin will be released through your joints causing everything to be a little more – well, relaxed so be sure not to overstretch
- After the first trimester don’t undertake any exercises that require you to be lying face down
- Your centre of gravity will change, so be careful with any balancing exercises
- Any abdominal exercise will be reduced in intensity, and you’ll have a focus on your core and pelvic floor
- You’ll find you fatigue faster so take it at your own pace
Enjoy moving your body Mumma but be sure to always check with your healthcare provider for clearance before doing any exercise. And if you’re wanting to keep both yourself and your lil bub healthy, active, and feeling amazing get in touch with us today!