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Pilates during Pregnancy

Being active is important for everyone’s health, including pregnant women. Staying active during pregnancy can help reduce any pregnancy related discomfort, but also help prepare your body for birth, delivery, and bodily changes postpartum. The goal of exercise during pregnancy is to keep the future mama healthy and moving, it is not about losing weight or building tons of extra muscle mass.

Benefits to being physically active during pregnancy:

  • Helps naturally increase your energy levels

  • Improved mood

  • Helps promote proper posture throughout pregnancy

  • Helps create muscle tone and strength

  • Can improve sleep quality

  • Can reduce constipation

  • May help reduce swelling, bloating, and other pregnancy related discomfort

Always check with your doctor of health care professional to ensure you are okay to continue being active or start activity once becoming pregnant.

Why do Pilates while pregnant?

The ideal workout for pregnant women is one that is low impact yet challenging, making pilates the perfect fit. Pilates focuses on promoting proper posture, muscular strength, muscular tone, balance and improved flexibility. It supports the muscle brain connection, so that each and every move is felt properly and controlled for the ultimate toning experience that is safe and effective during pregnancy.

What do we focus on in prenatal pilates classes?

Traditional pilates classes focus on strengthening the core. In a prenatal class we continue to do this in a way that is safe for pregnancy and does not exacerbate any ab separating (aka diastasis recti - I will share more on this topic soon, so stay tuned)!

The class not only focuses on core strength but emphasizes certain positions and movements that help support pregnancy and prepare the future mama for delivery. This means there is a lot of emphasis on pelvic floor activation and release. I love nothing more than seeing women move their bellies and core muscles in a way that truly activates and releases that pelvic floor region. To help support this we work on breathing techniques and different exercises that help activate the transverse abdominals (your deep abdominal layer), help release intra abdominal pressure, and ultimately improve that connection to your pelvic floor.

What is my pelvic floor?

In simple terms, the pelvic floor is a group of muscles in the floor of your pelvic area. These muscles work hard to support our bladder, uterus, and bowel. They play an important role in bowel and bladder control, sexual functioning, pregnancy, and birth.

What are the main benefits of practicing Pilates during pregnancy?

  • Learn pelvic floor activation and release techniques

  • Helps strengthen your muscles (including your tummy ones) – during pregnancy a hormone called “Relaxin” is released which causes ligaments and joints to become more flexible for childbirth. This may cause lower back pain. Pilates helps to strengthen muscles to reduce this pain. Who else feels that lower back pain or tight hips? I know I do!

  • Promotes proper posture - changes in posture due to pregnancy mitigated by strengthening abdominal muscles via Pilates

  • Improves balance – feeling a little clumsy lately? The focus on strengthening your core during pregnancy helps to improve stability as your bump continues to grow

  • Most importantly it’s fun, relaxing, and a great way to stay active during pregnancy

When looking for any prenatal class, ensure your instructor has prenatal training and feels comfortable and confident guiding you through your prenatal workouts.

I have taken certification courses and multiple prenatal and postnatal focused pilates and barre workshops to confidently guide you through your fitness journey throughout pregnancy and postpartum. If you have any questions about staying active during pregnancy, pilates during pregnancy, postpartum or anything at all, please feel free to connect!

My next 4-week prenatal pilates session starts Thursday July 4th at 7pm. Get the details here and email me if you have questions or want to sign up!

Thanks for reading! I look forward to connecting with you further. :)

Until next time,

Eat Right Feel Right - Angela XO

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