Nothing can truly prepare you for the overwhelming rush of emotions that you will feel as a new mum, or the tiredness or even the love that you will feel for your precious baby. Don’t worry, these are all normal feelings. What you can do, and you can start during your pregnancy, is help to prepare your body for the changes it will go through, making it stronger and improving your mobility and breathing.
The diaphragm, pelvic floor and deep abdominals make up the core, and when they work together, they can help to manage pressure in the torso and help make the core work more effectively. During pregnancy, the body is put under immense pressure through the position of the ribs, pressure on the pelvis and the stretching of the abs. For post-natal recovery, and core rehabilitation, it is important to reconnect with your breathing. Pilates can help with this, as well as providing benefits to the rest of the body.
Pregnancy will alter your posture. It’s common for the shoulders to hunch forward as you adjust to carrying extra weight in the front, this can continue into the post-natal period as a result of feeding, cuddling, changing and carrying your newborn around. Unfortunately, this may lead to some stiffness in the shoulders and an achy back. It is important to mobilise this area to relive aches and pain, improving your posture and thinking about how you pick your baby up, stand and feed your baby can help with this.
Try this wall shoulder stretch to relive achy shoulders.
In order to allow your baby to grow in utero, your stomach muscles stretch. The mum tum can be a huge area of anxiety for new mums, particularly when we are bombarded with images of celebrities who appear to spring back to their pre-pregnancy shape instantly. Pilates can help re-strengthen stomach muscles safely, effectively, and progressively. This allows them to do their job properly and takes the pressure off other areas of those areas of the body that might be compensating for them.
I don’t know about you, but my bum almost disappeared after having Ffion! It is important to work the muscles in the bottom after having a baby. These can help with discomfort and pain in the lower back. Perhaps most importantly, they can help with those all-important pelvic floor muscles.
Try this super gluteal exercise to power up that posterior.
Being a new mum is tiring. It is a physical job and can be stressful. Lifting, carrying, balancing, squatting, the list of movements goes on. The chances of pulling or overstretching something are much higher too because of the relaxin still in your system for a few months after labour. This is why it’s important to give your body the best chance it can have to allow you to do these movements comfortably and without pain.
Of course, when you are a new mum finding time to get to a Pilates class that can help you with all of this can be tricky, which is why I have put together my online pregnancy and post-natal Pilates classes, which you can do from the comfort of your own home.Favorite