What good can Pilates do during pregnancy?
As birth professionals, we hear a broad range of reactions to pregnancy. Some women say they love being pregnant because they’re so excited to meet their babies, or feel more grounded in their bodies, or even experience a heightened sense of spirituality. Others have a rough time. Whatever your reaction, it’s undeniably true that pregnancy takes a toll on the body. But, it’s equally true that you have a lot of power to offset many of those symptoms.
For Your Birth now offers Pilates classes!
One awesome way to offset those symptoms? Pilates. That’s why we’re so excited to welcome Erin Ratner, a Pilates instructor and mother of three, to our team. Erin trained for her Pilates certification while pregnant, so she understands both professionally and firsthand how Pilates can support a pregnant body. She says that after a session, her clients feel 6 inches taller.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is an exercise program developed in the early 20th century by a strength and fitness trainer named Joseph Pilates. It emphasizes strength, flexibility, and coordination. With regular practice, Pilates should improve:
· Core strength, or strength in your abdomen, lower back, and hips. These “powerhouse” muscles are especially strained during pregnancy as our abdominal muscles stretch and our lower backs tend to remain immobile.
· Pelvic floor strength, or strength in the muscles that support your bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum.
· Balance, coordination, and stability.
· Breath control and relaxation.
Why is Pilates good for pregnant people?
Pilates is good for everyone, but it’s particularly well suited for pregnancy because it’s not high-impact. Instead, during Pilates sessions, we focus on building strength through slow, conscious movements while controlling our breathing.
The benefits of Pilates seem tailor-fit for pregnancy. For example:
· By improving core strength, our bodies are better able to support the weight of a growing baby. And, we can prevent or reduce pain in the back and pelvis by strengthening the muscles that support them.
· By strengthening the pelvic floor, we can prevent or reduce incontinence and be better prepared for labor.
· Pregnancy might change your center of gravity or make you feel clumsier than usual, but focusing on balance and coordination can help.
· Breath control becomes important during labor. For example, to breathe through contractions.
Pilates is also great for postpartum women!
In next week’s blog, we’ll look at the benefits of Pilates beyond pregnancy.