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Pilates for Health During Pregnancy

Pilates is considered by many as the best exercise during pregnancy. Since Pilates helps in strengthening your core muscles, this form of exercise may also help you as you go through pregnancy and labour. Pilates practised during pregnancy will focus on movements that will strengthen muscles in your abdomen, back, and pelvis. Muscles in these areas are responsible for supporting the body during pregnancy and childbirth. The benefits that Pilates can assist with, for the expectant mom, is the return back to their normal figure after delivery.

If you would like to attend Pilate sessions, there are qualified instructors who can help you. Remember that Pilate classes for pregnant women are very different from ordinary classes. Pre-natal Pilates entail careful body movements because when pregnant you need to know what forms of exercises that are appropriate. Do not attempt to do Pilates on your own if you are unsure which exercises to do as this may jeopardize your health as well as your baby’s. Seek advice first.

Pilates for pregnant women is not exactly stressful and physically demanding because during pregnancy some women may have only limited range of motion, especially in the later months. During these exercises, focus on your body and be aware that your energy levels may change from time to time. Be careful not to overdo the movements and pay attention to signs that you must slow down. Once you feel a bit lightheaded or when you are already chasing your breath, take a break and breathe deeply until you feel you can breathe properly again. When using any Pilate’s equipment, make sure that you have someone around to assist you in case you may need help.

If you would like to practice Pilates during pregnancy, there may be moments when you feel like you are strained more than usual. This is normal. Due to hormonal changes, your muscles and joints will experience suppleness but be sure not to overdo it. Do not get too carried away by your sudden flexibility. Pilate exercises can be moderated for expectant moms so anything that is more advanced must be avoided.

 As much as Pilates can benefit you and your unborn child, there are some precautions that you must understand. Here are some of the things that you must be aware of while doing pre-natal Pilates.
1.    Exercises for abdominal muscles must be done in moderation to prevent your muscles from separating or what most would call “diastases recti”.

2.    As your baby develops in your womb, your weight increases which can cause back muscle strain. Prepare for this by doing Pilates exercises that will strengthen your lower back.
3.    Do not attempt to do exercises that will entail you to lie on your back especially if you are in your second trimester. Health professionals do not recommend pregnant women to do strenuous activities that will require them to lie on their backs because it may elicit unhealthy conditions on the mother’s vascular system.
4.    Be aware of your range of motion and do not overdo your exercises. Remember that during pregnancy, your muscles, joints and ligaments are vulnerable. Thus, you may be more prone to have injuries and tears.
5.    Because of the weight of your child, your centre of gravity has changed so take note of this when you do pre-natal Pilates exercises.

It is recommended to keep active and fit during pregnancy. This will help your overall good health and increase immunity. Have a happy and enjoyable pregnancy.

Margaret Le Monnier