Is Pilates Safe during Pregnancy?
If you did Pilates before pregnancy, then no doubt you want to know if Pilates is safe during pregnancy. And the answer to this is Yes! But not all Pilates exercises or movements are safe.
What you must do is only attend or participate in prenatal Pilates workouts.
Prenatal Pilates Classes are safe for both mother and baby as long as you have a qualified prenatal exercise instructor teaching your class. Prenatal Pilates is a recommended form of exercise by many prenatal exercise specialists due to the numerous benefits when pregnant.
Pilates consists of a series of movements and positions which will raise your awareness of your body’s strength. Deep breathing and relaxation enhance this awareness.
But just a word of warning!
You must only attend or participate in Pilates classes during pregnancy that are taught by qualified instructors.
Why? Because there are some Pilates exercises and movements that you must avoid as they can cause harm to both you and your baby.
How Can Pilates during Pregnancy Help Me?
The patterns of movement you will learn in our prenatal Pilates classes focus on your tummy and pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are also known as deep, stabilising muscles and strengthening them will ultimately help with your posture, balance and strength.
Our PregActive Prenatal Pilates workouts assist by targeting your back, stomach back and pelvic floor muscles without straining other joints. These exercises activate the deepest layer of your stomach muscles which help to stabilise your back and pelvis.
Many of our exercises are performed on your hands and knees which is an ideal position for pregnancy.
Benefits of Pilates during Pregnancy
- A quicker recovery during the postnatal period.
2. Increased ability to return to your pre-pregnancy body.
3. Reduces back pain.
4. Improve your balance.
5. Help you to maintain a health pregnancy weight.
6. Stronger core which helps prevent diastasis recti.
7. You will gain a stronger connection to the pelvic floor muscles.
8. Stronger pelvic floor muscles help to prevent leakage.
9. Better breath control and relaxation.
10. Help you physically prepare for labour.
11. You will experience less discomfort due to greater strength.
Is Pilates Safe during Pregnancy if I have Never Done Pilates Before?
Yes, but as always, consult your doctor first regarding your personal situation. To avoid over-stressing your joints and ligaments during any new exercises; make sure that you can perform a strong pelvic floor contraction.
You do this by squeezing in your pelvic floor muscles and holding the squeeze for at least 10 seconds.
Types of Prenatal Pilates Exercises Used in Our Classes
The two basic forms of Pilates are mat-based Pilates and equipment-based Pilates. The majority of our Pilates exercises are mat-based as the cost of owning or using a Pilates machine is limited to a select few.
1. Mat-based Pilates
This is a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your own body weight to provide resistance. The main aim is to condition the deeper, supporting muscles of your body to improve posture, balance and coordination
2. Equipment-based Pilates
This includes specific equipment that works against spring-loaded resistance, including the ‘reformer’, which is a moveable carriage that you push and pull along its tracks. Some forms of Pilates also include light weights that offer resistance to the muscles.
Precautions for Pilates during Pregnancy
Pilates is not for everyone so please consult your doctor if you:
1. Have a pre-existing musculoskeletal injury.
2. Recently had or having surgery.
3. Experienced a pre-existing medical condition (e.g. heart disease).
4. Have not exercised for a long time.
5. Your age is 40 years and older.
6. Are excessively overweight or obese.
Can I Still Attend Traditional Pilates Classes at My Local Studio?
Our PregActive classes have been specifically designed and are tailored to pregnant women and therefore do not include all movements you may encounter during an ordinary Pilates class.
When you attend a Pilates class when pregnant, you must ensure your instructor is qualified to teach pregnant women.
Some of the positions in these classes (lying on your stomach or back) are not suitable for pregnant women, especially late term pregnancy.
If you do participate in external Pilates sessions please advise your instructor and ensure they are aware of what exercises you should and should not be doing if pregnant.
If you can’t attend one of our classes, then you can still gain access to my video workouts and exercises online at PregAcvtive Pregnancy.