Exercise during pregnancy with Pilates:
There is vast evidence suggesting exercise during pregnancy can have many beneficial effects for mums to be. These can include maintenance of cardiovascular fitness, increase social support, preparation for labour and a more positive pregnancy experience 1,2.
It has been reported that only 42% of women continue to exercise during pregnancy 3, however Sports Medicine Australia (2002) suggest it is not time to start a more intensive exercise regime but rather continue or modify an established routine.
There are many physiological changes that occur during pregnancy and possibly one of the most obvious being a woman’s posture. As the baby grows, the abdomen enlarges and there is a negative effect on the strength of the buttock muscles, along with an increased curvature within the spine. Pelvic stability can be compromised 4 which if this occurs in an unbalanced nature can be predictive of pain in the post labour period 5.
Why should you do modified Pilates during pregnancy?
Pilates can not only improve spinal and pelvic stability, which consequently can reduce pain during and after pregnancy. It improves postural awareness, maintains flexibility and circulation along with conditioning the pelvic floor during this prenatal period.
Guidelines for Pilates in pregnancy:
- A letter from your GP is required confirming you are medically stable to exercise
- Any low back pain or pelvic pain has been assessed by a medical professional (such as an osteopath or physiotherapist), and advice has been given to seek stability training