11 August 2015,09:38:19 BST
As a Physiotherapist, I’ve helped countless women stay fit and strong throughout their pregnancies, making regaining their post-pregnancy body even easier. It’s not all just about weight loss though; pregnancy Pilates can help ease your back pain, strengthen your pelvic floor and enhance your pelvic stability to prevent pelvic pain during and after your pregnancy.
Pregnancy Pilates for low back pain
As your baby grows, your bump becomes heavier, putting stress on your lower back, forcing it to arch or extend. To counterbalance this forward force, your deep abdominals need to be strong. Pilates focuses on strengthening your transversus abdominus (TA) which wraps like a sling, around your lower abs and back, to support your lower spine. When other pregnant women need a pregnancy belt, you can rely on the strength of your muscles to do the same job!
You don’t have to lie on your back to do Pilates
Many women worry they will disrupt their blood pressure and the baby’s blood flow by doing Pilates lying on their backs. Pregnancy Pilates can be done on a 45 degree incline or sitting up, whether you’re on a reformer or doing a mat class. The women I’ve worked with have found they’re able to feel their core working while lying on a 45 degree angle.
Pregnancy Pilates for Pubic Pain
Many of my patients have found stairs and getting in and out of their cars causes sharp pain at the lower front of their pelvis. This is caused by increased laxity of the ligaments of the pelvis which causes a shearing of the two sides. By working on developing better pelvic stability through pelvic floor strength, glute strength and core strength, this pain can dissipate, making your pregnancy far more comfortable.
Pilates for Pelvic Floor
Every women is told to work on her pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy, but few actually know how. Imagine your pelvic floor is a tissue, sitting directly underneath you. Now imagine the tissue is gently pulled upwards from the middle, making a tent like shape. This is how you lift your pelvic floor. Still confused? Head to your nearest women’s health physio to learn exactly how to activate your pelvic floor. These handy muscles control far more than your bladder. They also work to stabilise your pelvis. If you need a caesarian, your pelvic floor muscles will be cut, meaning pre-surgery strengthening is even more important!
Pregnancy Pilates can help you maintain your figure, combat aches and pains and keep the effects of increased Relaxin hormone at bay during your pregnancy. Always check with your Dr and Physiotherapist to check if Pilates is appropriate and safe for you, and ensure you choose a reputable Pilates teacher with knowledge and experience with pregnancy Pilates.
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Caitlin is a Physiotherapist and Pilates consultant. She’s the founder of Aprivé Wellness; a digital wellness brand blending the worlds of augmented reality, tech and health and fitness. Learn more about her brand
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