We all know exercise is good for us. When you find out the exciting news that you are having a baby, exercise may feel daunting, you may be worried about what you can do, how much you should do and what is safe when.
As a new mum myself I know how you feel, I am here to support and guide you on this journey. First of all, some quick questions that can help you decide what you can do and what to be cautious of, the first is how much exercise have you done before? If the answer, is you regularly do exercise twice a week or more, during the first trimester you can stay doing exactly what you have been doing, providing and here’s the important bit, your body is okay with what you are doing! If you find you’re feeling sick, dizzy or some other not pleasant feeling maybe it’s time to either slow down your current exercise or look to something slightly different.
If you are new to exercise then Pilates and maybe some nice walks is a great place to start, now is not the time to take up running or boxercise, your body is working overtime growing a tiny human so keep it light and gentle don’t give your body too many ‘new’ challenges at this point.
Regardless of your activity level Pilates is a great choice for your pregnancy journey. Pilates helps you with muscle balance, builds strong core muscles which includes the pelvic floor, connects you to your breathing and leaves you feeling refreshed and relaxed.
The whole body and its functions change during pregnancy, the ligaments which hold your joints together become more relaxed because of a hormone called relaxin. Your heart works harder, you retain fluid and your centre of gravity shifts dramatically by your third trimester. All of these changes mean exercise can feel more challenging both mentally and physically. Pilates is a wonderful way to improve your strength, stay as balanced as possible and connect with your breathing which can be so useful during labour! Trust me I gave birth 9 weeks ago!
Why is Pilates such a good friend on your pregnancy journey?
The connection between movement and breathing is deeply important during labour, learning how to breathe correctly will really help you during contractions, I personally found this very useful with controlling the discomfort as well as keeping my brain focused on what I had to do.
Your pelvic floor, depending on where you are in your pregnancy, is either already being used as a trampoline for your baby or will be soon! In Pilates our trunk or core muscles are always engaged during a phase of each exercise which gives you lots of pelvic floor strength to counteract this growing pressure on your pelvic floor muscles. In Pilates we work from the core outwards, building a strong centre and then working on functional strength for the whole body.
Recently becoming a mum myself I have noticed the weird contortionist positions I get into to feed my little girl, put her in her crib, pick her up from under her play mat, support her head when walking around. Having a strong core and functional strength throughout my body has made this so much easier, especially on very little sleep!
Can I do Pilates throughout my pregnancy?
Yes! Providing you are having a ‘normal’ pregnancy (please always check with your midwife/care provider before taking on a new form of exercise) and there are no contraindications to you exercising. Most women can do Pilates all the way through until the delivery room. As your bump grows and you move through trimesters the exercises change to suit your needs and your bodies ability.
If you are interested in trying Pilates during pregnancy I run an online subscription service for busy mums to be! I found during pregnancy that getting out to a Pilates class was quiet challenging, they were on too late for my tired body and often an hour was a bit too much for some of the participants. That’s why I have developed an online Pilates service for pregnant women. My aim is that you can easily slot Pilates into your week around other commitments. Exercise should never feel like a chore, and I hope these achievable workouts will keep you motivated, fit and healthy throughout pregnancy and beyond!
As part of the package you will also get access to my private facebook group for new mums to share tips, advice and make new friendships.Favorite