Pilates during pregnancy ensures a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery, and a quicker recovery after childbirth. Pregnancy exercises are an important part of a healthy pregnancy, helping to reduce back and neck pain due to the change in posture, extra weight carried and the altered centre of balance, as well as helping to reduce fluid retention and controlling the weight gained during pregnancy.
Pilates is low impact and focuses on the pelvic floor and other stabilisers. Toning the pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy helps bladder control and aids with the birthing process. Lifting t
he pelvic floor activates the deep abdominal muscles, which are responsible for protecting the lower back and sacro-illiac joint, areas which are affected by the change in posture and the extra weight carried during pregnancy. Certain muscles shorten and others lengthen during this time, and extra care is given to gently strengthen the muscles needed for extra stability in the hip area. As the hormone relaxin is released during pregnancy, the ligaments become lax, and care is needed to ensure that the muscles needed for stability at this time are not overstretched, yet the ones leading to back pain, such as the hip flexors, are gently loosened to provide some relief in the lower back.
It is important to consult with your doctor before starting any ante-natal exercise program.