There are many body changes that occur over the nine months of pregnancy. The weight of the growing baby puts pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. As the foetus grows it shifts the centre of gravity forwards so the overall equilibrium of the spine alters as the pregnancy progresses, this forwards displacement of the trunk leads to inhibition of your gluteal muscles and decreased pelvic stability. Adding to this are hormonal changes that relax your smooth muscles and ligaments and modify the structure of the collagen.
Therefore pilates is vital to help keep you strong especially your pelvic floor, core and gluteal muscles to help support your back, pelvis and baby.
Benefits of Pilates in pregnancy
The POG (Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy) recommend that in pregnancy the aim should be to maintain or moderately improve the level of fitness. It is recommended that pregnant women aim to do up to 20 – 30 min of moderate intensity exercise 3-5 times per week. The fitter you are the more prepared you will be for labour and the better your recovery. Research shows that mothers who exercise throughout their pregnancy significantly shorten labour, improve co-ordination, breath awareness and control and allow for a faster postnatal recovery. The benefits of exercise in pregnancy are well documented and have been shown to reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus, pre-eclampsia, rectus diastasis abdominis and incontinence as well as improving general wellbeing and cardiovascular fitness. Not only does exercise in pregnancy have benefits for the mother but studies have also shown fetal benefits.
Pilates can be a great way to minimise postural adaptations, prepare you for labour as well as keep you strong for motherhood. Pilates is an ideal way to stay fit and active during your pregnancy and beyond. Pilates incorporates breathing, alignment, strengthening, centring and stretching. All of these things are useful tools to help maintain your health and fitness.
Our pre-natal pilates course comprises of:
- A 30 minute 1:1 session with a physiotherapist, where you we will discuss any particular problems you may be having, be assessed on your movement and strength and taught the basics of pilates how to contract your pelvic floor and core
- Information on what is your pelvic floor and what happens to it during pregnancy, how to locate and train your pelvic floor and exercises that really work
- A Home-Exercise programme focusing on any specific weaknesses that you may have, you can download this onto an app to do in-between pilates session
- 4 Pilates sessions taken by a physiotherapist allowing you to strengthen your muscle in a safe way
- Time at the end of each session to have a cuppa or herbal tea and a healthy snack and ask any questions and have a chat with other expectant mums
The next Course will be running on a Wednesday evening at 7pm from the 26th of September to the 17th of October.