Updated: Feb 13, 2019
For this blog post I thought it might be nice for you hear from a pregnancy pilates expert. I caught up with Deborah Paterson of 'Pilates by Physio' and we discussed the top 5 reasons why Pilates is so important throughout pregnancy.
I enjoyed pilates so much before, during and following my pregnancy. I was never a gym kinda gal and pilates kept me fit both physically and mentally throughout. It was also a place I met some fantastic new friends.
I considered pilates to be an important and integral part of my pregnancy journey. But enough from me...here's what Deborah had to say:
Why Choose Antenatal Pilates?
Being a Physiotherapist for nearly 20 years and having had both pelvic girdle pain and 'Diastasis Recti' (an over-stretching of the connective tissue which joins your tummy muscles at the front) as a result of my pregnancies with my two amazing children, I am passionate about the positive effects of pilates during and after pregnancy. Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience for most women but it isn’t without its issues. Between my pregnancies I trained to deliver 'Modified Pilates' with the view to offering antenatal & postnatal pilates on Wirral. I have been doing so now for 5 years. I want to share with you some of the benefits of doing Pilates during this wonderful phase in your life.
Keeping you fit and healthy.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommend moderate exercise during pregnancy. Pilates is perfect for this and it is safe to take up even if you didn’t exercise prior to pregnancy. Exercise has been shown to reduce the chances of getting gestational diabetes. In class we look at how to avoid, or at least reduce the impact of, some of the common problems associated with pregnancy. These include pelvic floor dysfunction, rib pain, back pain, pelvic pain as well as diastasis recti .
Preventing or reducing back & pelvic pain.
Due to the changes in posture as your pregnancy progress and the added weight of your growing baby in your pelvis, pregnant ladies may develop back pain and/or pelvic girdle pain. Back pain is often related to posture and we do quite a bit of education in class to help you become aware of your posture. A lot of the exercises focus on stretching muscles that commonly become tight and strengthening the ones that can get a bit lazy. Pelvic pain can occur anywhere around your pelvis and may be due to the pressure in your pelvis but also due to the hormone 'relaxin'. This is produced during pregnancy to make everything stretch more easily to make way for your growing baby and get your body ready for labour. We address this in class by working on strengthening muscles around your hips and pelvic floor.
Maintaining pelvic-floor function.
It is no secret that pregnancy and birth can play havoc on your pelvic floor. Whilst this may be a common problem, it is NOT normal and should be addressed. We teach you how to activate your pelvic floor correctly (it is surprising how many women don’t know how to do this!) and guide you on what you should be doing at home. A lot of Pilates exercises will make you use your pelvic floor and strengthen it without you even having to think about it.
Prepare for labour and the postnatal phase.
By doing Pilates through your pregnancy you will maintain strength and stamina which is required for labour. Ladies can spend some time on all fours or in a semi-squat position whilst in labour. Having worked on this in class you will be less likely to tire quickly. Being stronger when you have your baby will help with recovery postnatally. In class we discuss safe exercises to do once baby has arrived to help you recover well.
Relaxing and making friends.
It is important to take time to relax during pregnancy and we always do some relaxation at the end of class. Many people feel relaxed whilst doing Pilates too. Quite often ladies join our antenatal classes, return to the postnatal, they love it so much they continue onto mixed ability and even the advanced classes. I love to hear stories where so many of them have stayed in contact with other mum’s-to-be from the antenatal pilates classes and have made life-long friends.
In short, pilates is good for your body & mind during pregnancy and beyond. Helping reduce some of the pregnancy related aches, preparing you for labour and assisting your recovery postnatally.
- Deborah Paterson
Pilates by Physio
Thank You x
Owner & Founder
Time: Bump & Beyond