If you’ve recently discovered you are pregnant or maybe you’re nearing the end of your first trimester, here are some of the benefits you can expect from including classical pilates as part of your get-ready-for-baby fit plan.
1. You can do it throughout your pregnancy.
One of the things we love about pilates, is that it meets you where you are in your practice. For pregnant students, this means that you can practice pilates throughout your entire pregnancy because your practice will change with your body.
2. A strong pelvic floor will help you to push in active labour.
There is a lot more to a strong pelvic floor than kegals. While kegal exercises can be effective at strengthening your pubococcygeus (PC) muscle, which is mainly responsible for “what comes out and when”, your pelvic floor goes much deeper than your PC and is part of the group of muscles that make up your core, or pilates powerhouse.
Having a strong core, including pelvic floor muscles has been shown to shorten labour and help reduce instances of incontinence during pregnancy (and after childbirth).
3. it Increases awareness and confidence in your changing body.
Pregnancy has a way of making women feel powerless over their changing bodies, when in fact, to be able to create and support a growing human is pretty amazing! One of the things we love about classical pilates is that by nature, it’s a strong workout. Having the support of a a fully equipped studio means that your teacher can adapt your programme to what you need in your practice. For example, after the first trimester some students don’t feel comfortable lying on their stomachs due to a growing bump. If you only have a mat to workout on, you then have to remove a lot of beneficial exercises from your programme - but if you have a fully equipped studio, you can continue those exercises somewhere else (sometimes with even greater challenge!). Pilates is empowering movement and you will leave your lesson feeling more like the super-woman you are.
4. Helps you to breath better in labour.
Pilates is a workout for your lungs! Just by performing a pilates workout, you are increasing lung capacity and learning controlled breathing techniques, which can be helpful to get you through an active labour.
Being able to focus on your breathe is also an effective technique to help you relax and stay calm during labour.
5. Strong core muscles are important to help you support your growing bump, alleviating back pressure and supporting your pelvic organs.
The great thing with pilates is that because your teacher can adapt your practice, you don’t need to drop the intensity of your workout if you are pregnant, which means that you are able to maintain a strong powerhouse, which will give you loads of benefits when it comes to supporting a growing bump.
In addition to the structural support a strong powerhouse that a classical pilates workout provides, working out at a moderate intensity when pregnant has also been shown to reduce pregnancy weight gain and make it easier to get back into shape after labour.