Pilates during pregnancy is a popular exercise for pregnant women. Pilates exercises can help you have a healthy pregnancy, and practicing Pilates is generally regarded as a safe method for the healthy development and birth of your baby.
If you’re a novice in this type of exercise, the following information should be useful for you.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a fitness system that is intended primarily to achieve precise control of the body in the most healthy and efficient manner.
This method was created more than 70 years ago by Joseph H. Pilates. In the 40’s, the Pilates method became popular in the art of dance. The dancers used to practice this method primarily to regain fitness and strength.
Through the practice of Pilates you can achieve muscular balance, have a greater body control, and increase strength and flexibility.
With the practice of Pilates, you will be working the “center of power” of your body, which includes the abdominals, the base of the back, and buttocks. During pregnancy these parts must be highly strengthened to achieve a balance in your body.
There is a definition of this Pilate which I like, and it reads like this:
“The science and art of coordinated development of Body-Mind-Spirit through natural movements under strict control of consciousness”
Sounds great, right?
Frankly I bought the idea. During my pregnancy I practiced all kinds of exercises: yoga, walking, swimming, even Pilates. I wanted to give my baby and my body the perfect state of health to avoid complications. I am convinced that the practice of exercise during pregnancy is the key to enjoying, rather than suffering through, those 9 wonderful months of pregnancy.
Is it safe to do Pilates during pregnancy?
You can practice Pilates during pregnancy, but make sure you’re under the supervision of a professional and have your doctor’s permission first.
During pregnancy there are many changes in your body, including: loss of flexibility or elasticity, and body posture. As your pregnancy progresses, your growing belly causes you to lose balance. So you have to exercise your power center in order to regain the balance in your body.
Pilates exercise is a low impact practice where the muscles are strengthened by a gentle stretch.
There are 3 key parts of your body that should be well strengthened and flexible enough during pregnancy, labor, and after delivery.
These parts are:
- Buttocks, specifically around your pelvis
If you practice Pilates during pregnancy, you will avoid having the typical back pain due to weight gain. Your body will be prepared to expel your baby. Your body will be sufficiently flexible for delivery. And of course, you will have less discomfort during pregnancy.
Remember, Pilates is an exercise for your body and mind, which means that you will be focused on your pregnancy with a better breathing and relaxation.
Among other benefits I can mention:
- Pilates will help strengthen your back, avoiding the abdominal curvature
- Pilates will improve your body posture and center of balance. Normally the body weight gain causes an imbalance in your body
- The labor and delivery of your baby will take less time
- The strengthening of your abdomen will help your recovery in the postpartum
Remember that Pilates during pregnancy is beneficial because it exercises your abdomen and pelvic floor muscles, which normally weaken during pregnancy.
If you want to maintain your fitness level, Pilates is a low impact exercise which will help to prepare your body for the major challenges of pregnancy.
If you have never practiced Pilates, taking a prenatal class with a professional instructor is a good idea. You must learn to have good command of your “energy center,” meaning the center of your abdomen.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, you can do Pilates with a moderate level of exercises, without overdoing it, because during this trimester you will be adapting to the different changes of pregnancy, such as fatigue.
You can combine pilates practice with Kegel exercises. Both help strengthen the pelvic floor.
If you experience any discomfort in your abdominals or your back, it’s time to stop exercising. You should always be supervised by a qualified Pilates instructor and have permission from your doctor.
Remember, exercise and pregnancy are two things that get along with each other, and they work much better if they are combined with a balanced diet.
Maintain a healthy weight during your pregnancy. Too much weight gain during pregnancy is not a good idea for your health and your baby.
You should look for a safe exercises during pregnancy. Practicing a workout routine is normally considered beneficial for pregnant moms. However, always consult your doctor before beginning any workout routine during pregnancy.