Pregnancy and Pilates
Whether it’s your first pregnancy or your fourth, each one is a completely different experience. It can be an exciting, scary, and vulnerable time for any expecting mother. Keeping physically active is a vital key to good health during this stage of life. Pilates supplies soon-to-be mothers with countless benefits to support such an important experience.
As the baby grows, the mother’s body expands to help support the needs of their child. This can affect the mother’s muscles, organs, bones, along with other systems of the body. Pilates concentrates on moving the body by using the muscles of the spine and the entire hip complex, including the abdominals and glutes. The stronger these muscles are, the more protected our joints are throughout their everyday life. Adding in the influence of hormones during pregnancy furthers the necessity of having this core strength. The pelvic floor is vital to this as well. A pregnant client that concentrates on being Pilates-strong has a much quicker recovery.
Although the growth of the baby is isolated to the mother’s abdomen and pelvis, the effects of pregnancy are felt throughout the entirety of the body. Hormones don’t just stay isolated to the area of growth. Stretching has to be done in a controlled manner and range of motion has to be decreased. Understanding these parameters can prevent back and joint pain. Pilates strengthens and lengthens the body in a controlled setting concentrating on doing motions within each client’s range each day.
Pilates creates balance and mind-body connection. As the baby grows inside the mother, her center of gravity changes and her balance is displaced. Concentrating on being mindful of the everyday changes and allowing yourself to move slower and with more awareness are concepts practiced in Pilates. Each motion is a new motion as center of balance is shifted forward when the baby continues to grow. Learning how to use certain muscles to help stabilize when getting up, sitting, or even picking things up can prevent pain and injury.
Pregnancy is a very special stage of life, and Pilates enables mothers to strengthen and stay mobile in a safe environment during this time. Both mother and baby can continue to progress through each stage of pregnancy with good health, more energy, and a positive atmosphere when practicing Pilates.