Pilates and Pregancy
There is an incredibly rapid change in the female body during ante-natal and post-natal times. Pre-existing conditions may be aggravated by pregnancy. I can speak of my daughter in-law, who’s lower back pain became increasingly painful, leading her too many visits at a physiotherapist.
I believe that physical activity is beneficial to most of the general population.
During pregnancy, exercise may encourage the mother to feel better in herself physically and emotionally.
Their are some circumstances where exercise may not be beneficial and I encourage all my pregnant clients to have a doctors approval before commencing an exercise program of any sort.
Possible Postural Changes associated with Pregnancy
Forward head carriage / chin jutting forward
Tightening of the chest muscles (pectorals) and rounding of the upper back (kyphosis)
Tightening of the low back (anterior pelvic tilt)
Weak buttock muscles (gluteals)
Weak abdominal muscles
Flattening of the arches in the feet
These changes in posture add extra stress on the joints and the muscles.
Exercise doesn’t guarantee an easier labour but it helps.
Benefits of Participating in Pre / Post natal Pilates
Pilates is available as an exercise program during pregnancy and with your doctors approval may give the benefits;
(The Pregnant Client, Lifecare Pilates 2003, Nicole Vass)
- maintaining cardio vascular fitness
- improving circulation
- enhance muscular balance being strength and length
- reduce swelling and water retention
- reduce leg cramps
- increase stamina for labour
- strengthen specific muscles needed during pregnancy and labour
- manage back pain
- maintain pelvic floor muscular
- maintain / improve posture
- assist in weight control
- increase body awareness and control
- improve coordination, balance and rhythm
- improves breath awareness and control
- reinforces principals of relaxation
- reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue
- may provide social interaction
- assist in post-natal recovery