While yoga is always a popular choice for a prenatal and postnatal workout, pilates is also proving to be very beneficial for strengthening your body and keeping you healthy and relaxed before and after giving birth. The main focus of pilates is to strengthen the core and build stability for your abs and pelvis. This way, you’ll have better support for the growing baby in your tummy and also make both postnatal recovery and life as a mother much easier for you. To give you a better idea, we did our research and also asked our friends at Onelife Studio about how doing pilates can help improve your overall health during and after pregnancy. Learn more about pilates below!
Your body releases a hormone called relaxin which prepares you for childbirth by increasing the flexibility in your joints and by making more room for your pelvis to open up for your baby. However, because this hormone loosens up your joints, you’ll be more prone to injury. The added weight from your baby is no help either, as it causes strains on your back and pelvis. And although some workouts for pregnant moms contain loaded flexions and planks, these actually tighten your abdomen and thus worsen the abdominal separation already happening. To counter this, pilates can help you safely strengthen your abs without tightening them. This way, the exercise helps reduce the strain in your body, while also allowing you to build the support you need to hold your growing baby.
Your body may experience abdominal separation or diastasis recti due to your abs being overstretched while you were pregnant. When your abdominal muscles are separated, this can leave you with a weak core and make you more vulnerable to back pain and other spinal issues. Because of this, pilates focuses on strengthening the core and building muscular endurance to relieve your back and improve your pelvic floor. In doing so, this exercise also enables you to avoid problems like leaking a little when you cough or sneeze. Similarly, as pilates helps you keep your muscles long and lean, you’ll be able to build just enough support and strength to maintain the comfort in your body.
You may experience being a little clumsy and uncoordinated because your center of gravity changes along with your growing bump. Since pilates aims to strengthen your core, it may make you more stable while walking. It also teaches you to become more aware of your body and to be more sensitive of changes in your posture. This means that the movements in pilates, which strengthen your back muscles, will help you align your body better and keep you from ruining your posture.
You’ll find yourself spending a lot of time leaning over, bending and reaching for things, and carrying and feeding your baby. All this slouching can cause a lot of strain and can even contribute to stiffness and back pain. With pilates, you’ll be able to mobilize those stiff muscles and become aware of how your hips and spine are positioned. Having that awareness of your alignment and movements will help protect you from even more back pain as well! Pilates can also help tone those leg and arm muscles so that carrying your baby will be less stressful on your joints.
Pilates can help improve your mood by increasing happy hormones or endorphins. It also teaches you proper and controlled breathing techniques which are key stress relievers. Aside from this, doing pilates boosts your immune system and provides you with the energy levels you need to help you feel more prepared for labor.
Pilates can be your “me time,” which will help you focus on your own recovery. As a mom, you’ll definitely be busy caring for your bundle of joy. But it’s also important to take some time to look after your own well-being too! Pilates can help you recharge and reconnect with your mind and body, lower your stress levels, and make you feel good about yourself!
Your body is at a very sensitive stage, which is why exercising with the help of experts is the way to go! Onelife Studio has a roster of certified pilates instructors and physiotherapists who are qualified to handle pre-natal and post-natal clients. So, don’t worry, mom! You’ll be in safe hands! And, knowing that women don’t always have the same concerns and experiences with pregnancy, Onelife Studio also has an assessment process before you do the actual workouts. This assessment will help your instructors craft a customized workout plan that is safe and effective just for you! These personalized programs are expertly planned to suit your needs and will definitely help you achieve your health goals.
Pilates is indeed a great way for any mom or mom-to-be to stay physically and emotionally healthy, as it helps you cope with both the physical and life changes you experience because of pregnancy and motherhood. Plus, no matter where your body is now and even later on in your life as a mom, you can always turn to certified pilates experts to help you get on the right track. Start your pilates journey with Onelife Studio and see these benefits for yourself! You can check out their website here to find out more and book your sessions. Happy exercising, momma!