Managing Fitness and Posture with Pilates During Pregnancy
Author: Dublin Holistic Centre
16th May 2014
Managing Fitness and Posture with Pregnancy Pilates
While expecting a child is obviously one of life’s greatest wonders it is not without its side effects particularly on the body of the mother to be. There are a number of musculoskeletal problems that arise during pregnancy. The most pronounced are those resulting from the additional weight of the developing baby.
This can put undue strain on the back and the core. The body also produces natural hormones that cause muscles to slacken, allowing the baby to grow. While this is necessary to provide space for the growing child it also weakens core muscles affecting posture.
There is also the issue of a lack of exercise. Many forms of exercise are unsafe and even impossible at various stages of pregnancy. Without exercise a number of health issues can arise and pressure is put on joints that would normally be taken up by muscles.
The problem then, for mothers to be, becomes how to stay in shape through the pregnancy and maintain the core strength that will provide a healthier posture. Pilates is not only specially designed to develop the core muscles and improve posture it is also a very low impact form of exercise making it ideal for pregnancy.
Pregnancy Pilates involves a specially adapted routine designed for expectant mothers. It builds strength in the lower and upper body as well as the back, providing a stronger posture for the mother without overexerting or pushing the body in uncomfortable positions.
One of the most difficult challenges facing mothers is maintaining energy levels. Carrying the additional weight while being less mobile means expectant mothers are often lacking in energy. Pilates not only provides strength and conditioning but also improves energy levels and fitness, again without overly straining.
A central element of Pilates training is breathing work. Controlled breathing allows for strengthening of the pelvic floor muscle, improved stability in the torso and better intra abdominal pressure. During the birth process the ability to use breathing for muscle control can make the process easier and in some cases faster.
Prenatal Pilates has been shown to increase post natal recovery periods. In combination with specially designed Post-natal Pilates classes many mothers are able to get back into pre pregnancy shape within 3 to 4 months.