Pilates For Prenatal Mums

Congratulations, you’re expecting a baby! There’s no secret your body is about to go through some pretty impressive (and slightly weird) changes. You’re creating a human inside of you and while you’re busy doing everything possible to help your little one thrive, it’s important to look after yourself as your body grows too.

Throughout each trimester your body will continue to change structurally and as your bump gets bigger and bigger your centre of gravity will shift. Your pelvis will also tilt, giving you an increased curve in the lower spine, your head and neck will be at the mercy of your ever-changing boobs, you’ll notice an increase in ligament laxity and you’re chances of succumbing to flatter feet and hyperextended knees also increases. There’s a lot going on, but remember this is different for everyone.

It goes without saying, Pilates is the most effective form of exercise for pre- and post-natal clients. Sure, it’s a great way to safely (key!) maintain your fitness, but it also places a heavy focus on good posture, abdominal strength and pelvic floor strength.

But that’s not all… any good Pilates instructor worth their weight in pre-natal knowledge will also be mindful of targeting the areas that soon-to-be-mummas will desperately need once bub is born. We’re talking, strengthening your glutes, quads and arms -- because you’ll need them to lift, carry and nurse -- and stretching, by working on opening through the chest and lengthening through your obliques. With all of that in mind, any thoughtfully prescribed program should help to keep you feeling energised throughout your pregnancy and help to reduce any niggles that might present themselves the closer you get to giving birth.

 

What you need to know about Pilates and your first trimester

  • Expect to feel tired and nauseous 
  • At this point you might notice a release of relaxin that can cause laxity in your joints
  • You can undertake Pilates as normal, but if you find lying face down uncomfortable -- don’t do it! -- tell your instructor

 

What you need to know about Pilates and your second trimester

  • Do not undertake any exercises that require you to be lying face down
  • Your instructor will program more squats and leg and footwork exercises during this trimester
  • Your centre of gravity will undergo more changes
  • Any abdominal exercises will be reduced in intensity

 

What you need to know about Pilates and your third trimester

  • Things are about to get a little more uncomfortable as your body gets bigger
  • Of course, you can’t do any exercises that require you to be face down -- your instructor will know this -- and getting up and down off the floor will be a challenge
  • You’ll find you will fatigue faster
  • Your Posture will continue to be compromised
  • Ensure your heart is positioned higher than the baby’s when exercising, this means avoid lying on your back for extended periods

The abdominal focus will shift to your pelvic floor -- something that will come in handy when the time comes